Legalization of cannabis in Germany postponed to 2024

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The German Cannabis Act (CanG), which should establish a regulatory framework for the adult use of cannabis in the country, has been postponed by a few months. As we wrote recently, the bill “will be voted on in December,” German politician Carmen Wegge wrote in a message on X/ex-Twitter.

“This means we will not meet the schedule. »

She also indicated that improvements to the bill are still under discussion.

Discussions and improvements

As reported by the Legal Tribune Online (LTO), few, if any, of the important questions surrounding the bill, such as the realism of a ban on consumption within a 200 meter perimeter around places where children could be found (school, youth organization, playground , sports field) and around Cannabis Clubs or the question of whether the 25 gram limit applies to home cultivation, have not found an answer.

Furthermore, fractures between different elements of the coalition working group are increasingly apparent, with parliamentarians warning that the hearing made it clear that “profound changes” were needed before the current draft was ready.

Kirsten Kappert-Gonther of the Green Party tweeted last week that “some wording still needs to be reworked on certain points. This is a good cause, quality takes precedence over time pressure. Completion is scheduled for December. »

Another SPD member, Dirk Heidenblut, also posted a now-deleted message on his Instagram giving more details about the planned new schedule.

He said: “Unfortunately, my confidence was unfounded: “Unfortunately, my confidence was unfounded. As always, the difficulty lies in the details and it still takes time to properly develop the necessary committee submissions. Therefore, the CanG cannot be used next week, but only in the 50th week. This means that the Federal Council does not start before February, and therefore not before March 1, 2024.”

What is happening now?

Germany had initially indicated the law could come into force before the end of the year, but the delay means the start of 2024 is more realistic.

Although the date for the final hearing in the Bundestag has only been pushed back by a month, with a new date scheduled between December 13 and 15, the bill still needs to be considered by the Bundresrat (Federal Council). .

Although this is essentially a formality and the Bundesrat does not have the power to stop the bill once it has passed the Bundestag, the final session of the state house is scheduled for December 15.

As the Federal Council is not due to meet before February 2, 2024, final approval of the bill will therefore have to take place after this date.

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