In a press conference, Federal Health Minister Prof. Dr. Lauterbach presented the new key data in the course of the debate on cannabis legalization in Germany. The draft law is to be presented before the end of April, and implementation is then to take place by the end of the year.

Karl Lauterbach (SPD), who together with Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens), presented a light-version of the bill already presented last year, announced that personal consumption of 25 grams per day and 50 grams per month, a maximum of 30 grams for those under 21, and the cultivation of 3 female plants will become legal in the future. The implementation is based on two pillars, a quick one and one that is tied to model trials and is designed for a longer period of time.


The first is to allow legal access via cannabis clubs with a maximum of 500 members. Each member may not have more than 25g in their possession, but can also purchase up to seven seeds or five cuttings for self-cultivation. Under-18 year olds will be denied access. In contrast to what is known from Spain, consumption in the non-profit associations will be prohibited. The same applies to public spaces, for example close to day-care centers, schools and pedestrian zones until 8 pm.

Özdemir pointed out that marijuana, also referred to as weed, is a common stimulant in society and that the illegal classification promotes the black market, thus the distribution of impure goods. It is therefore time for controlled distribution with limits, he said. It needs useful regulations. With a focus on health protection and prevention of children and minors, decriminalization would pave the way towards a cannabis policy that could also be exemplary for Europe.


The revised paper of the traffic light coalition foresees the sale in specialized shops, as originally planned, only in the step of the second pillar. Since it was likely that the sale on this path would fail at the latest because of the EU’s proposals, a “light legalization” was worked out after discussions with the Commission. Therefore, the planned access will only take place with the results of scientifically monitored model regions. Implementation could begin after the summer.


Both ministers pointed out several times during the conference that any fight against the black market would deny crime opportunities. Instead of dealers targeting young people for addiction in order to gain customers in the long run, it was time to create ways to counteract abuse, they said. We are not creating a problem, we are trying to solve a problem, Lauterbach remarked, after being asked several times whether legislation would not pave the way for the danger of addiction. In fact, however, legalization goes hand in hand with a contemporary drug policy that aims to prevent abuse through controlled distribution. There will be compulsory intervention and prevention programmes for minors should they use or deal cannabis.

The question on taxation was answered by saying that this will not happen under Pillar 1. It remains to be seen what will happen in the future. Above all, the results of the model project, which is designed for a period of five years. Part of the legislative process will also be the discussion on the authorisation of edibles.


Today we have reached a milestone for the legalization of cannabis in Germany, said Green Party Chair Ricarda Lang. With the goal of a legislation that could stand as an example for Europe, further details would be conscientiously worked out and then presented in the next step, because of course some things remained uncertain. Difficult anyway, because there were and still are concerns, especially from the CSU.

So we are approaching our goal? It remains exciting. The concrete draft law is to be presented by the end of April. After that, it will be up to the government to vote, followed by the cabinet decision and the Bundestag. But surely today is a move that shall leave the German cannabis industry with hope, just as after medical marijuana was legalized in Germany in 2017. We will keep you posted.

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