News broke Friday that an agreement has been struck in Germany to legalize cannabis for adult use and to create a regulated adult-use cannabis industry framework. Members of the incoming governing coalition comprised of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Greens are reportedly introducing the measure in the upcoming session.
According to SPIEGEL information, the traffic light parties want to legalize the sale of cannabis for consumption purposes. The coalition working group on health and care agreed on this, as the Funke media group first reported. ”We are introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for pleasure purposes in licensed shops,” the negotiators of the Greens and FDP, in the result paper of the relevant working group. This controls the quality, prevents the transfer of contaminated substances and guarantees the protection of minors.
According to the report, the relevant law is to be evaluated after four years with a view to its social impact. So far, the sale of cannabis for consumption purposes has been banned. Germany, The Greens and FDP have long been in favor of legal, regulated trade in cannabis. It is significant when any nation moves towards cannabis legalization and away from prohibition. However, Germany is a particularly large domino to fall.
As of right now, only two countries have legalized cannabis for adult use – Uruguay and Canada. A number of countries are moving towards legalization, including Luxembourg which recently announced plans to legalize in 2022. Switzerland allows low-THC cannabis products to be bought and sold, and court decisions in South Africa, Italy, and Mexico have created quasi-legalization.
Germany has a population of roughly 83 million people, which dwarfs the populations of Canada (38 million) and Uruguay (3.5 million) combined. Whereas Germany is home to the fourth-largest economy on earth, Canada’s economy is ranked 10th and Uruguay is ranked 80th. Germany has long held a significant amount of political influence in Europe and beyond. It is also a major international hub for technological and industrial innovation.
Legalization in Germany is still a work in progress, being that an actual law has not taken effect yet. With that being said, legalization does appear to be inevitable in Germany, and in the meantime, the eyes of the entire cannabis community will be locked on the European country.