The German Minister of Health will present his plan for the legalization of cannabis today

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The controlled distribution of cannabis for recreational purposes should take place in officially licensed and controlled shops, possibly also in pharmacies. “Approved businesses are solely dedicated to selling and advising on recreational cannabis; there is no connection with the sale of other stimulants such as tobacco and alcohol,” the text reads. Advertising of cannabis products is prohibited.

The minimum age for the sale and purchase of cannabis should be set at 18. Unlike previous plans, there will be no THC content levels by age group. Due to the increased risk of cannabis-related brain damage in adolescence, the document specifies that a maximum THC limit for adults up to 21 will be considered.

Synthetic cannabinoids will not be permitted.

“Smoking, inhaling, nasal and oral dosage forms in the form of capsules, sprays and drops are permitted,” the document states. “An extension to edible products (products other than food which are offered for oral consumption) will be examined at the latest within the framework of the evaluation of the law” i.e. before 4 years. Here we find a market structure in two phases, as in Canada where concentrates and edibles were authorized 2 years after legalization.

For minors, “behaviours which have hitherto been the subject of criminal sanctions, in particular the cultivation, purchase and possession of cannabis for recreational purposes, must remain prohibited”. Beyond the regulations envisaged, “both adults and minors continue to be liable to prosecution, including when they negotiate and place on the market without authorization regardless of the quantity, as well as when acquiring, holding and cultivating beyond the amounts allowed in each case”. Penalties may be up to three years in prison and a fine.

In addition, a cancellation of the ongoing criminal proceedings is planned. “When the planned new regulations come into effect, ongoing investigations and criminal prosecutions for actions that are no longer criminal must be completed,” the highlights state.

Income from the sale of recreational cannabis should be subject to VAT, in addition to a special “cannabis” tax.

The bill is only expected to be introduced when it appears that there are no legal objections from the EU to the legalization of cannabis, probably the biggest potential obstacle to the legalization of cannabis in Germany.

Still, the road is still long. Many points can still change during the future legislative course of the text of law in Germany.

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