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Germany approves bill legalising cannabis

Under the freshly passed law, adults over 18 can possess up to 25 grams of cannabis and grow up to three plants at home

Over the weekend, the German parliament approved a legislation that decriminalises marijuana, marking a significant step towards legal sales to adults in the country. As part of an agreement by the three-party coalition government, the new law permits cannabis possession and home cultivation for adults and allows non-profit cannabis clubs to supply consumers.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach emphasized the legislative shift from punishment and stigma towards addressing issues associated with cannabis use. The move is considered a historic moment, making Germany the first EU country and the second G7 country after Canada to legalize adult use, as noted by Omar Khan, a spokesperson for Canadian cannabis company High Tide.

Under the freshly passed law, adults over 18 can possess up to 25 grams of cannabis and grow up to three plants at home. Cannabis clubs, on the other hand, can supply up to 500 members with a monthly maximum of 50 grams per member. However, restrictions on THC potency for individuals aged 18 to 21 are in place to address concerns regarding the impact of marijuana use on the developing brain.

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The legislation removes cannabis from the list of narcotic substances in Germany, benefiting existing medical marijuana operators in the country. Niklas Kouparanis, CEO of German medical cannabis company Bloomwell Group, highlighted the potential for a significant market expansion due to this reclassification. With cannabis no longer classified as a narcotic, patients will find it easier to access cannabis prescriptions, and doctors can prescribe it without the constraints of a narcotic prescription.

Despite the overall support, the bill faced resistance, particularly within Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left SPD party. Some raised concerns about the lack of controlled distribution in licensed stores, arguing that it might fail to combat organized crime or alleviate police burdens as intended by legalisation. One major worry among SPD lawmakers is the perceived lack of adequate protection for children, with concerns about enforcing prohibition zones near playgrounds and schools.

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