The plan to legalize cannabis in Germany presented to the government

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German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has submitted to members of his government the bill to legalize the possession and self-cultivation of cannabis as well as Cannabis Clubs, the first phase of a two-part reform.

The legislative text must now be proofread and amended if necessary before finalizing it and sending it to the legislators.

“Promise kept. Comments are welcome,” Lauterbach said in response to media coverage of this latest development.

Although the draft legislation is not yet publicly available, sources confirmed to German media RND that the proposal would allow adults to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis and grow up to three plants for personal use. It would also authorize Cannabis Clubs where growers could distribute their harvest, similar to what is done in Spain and Malta.

Mr Lauterbach said last month that adults over the age of 21 could buy no more than 50 grams per month in clubs, and that sales to adults aged 18 to 21 would be limited to a total of 30 grams per month .

The framework provides for a limit on THC content, although the details are to be clarified later, as well as a ban on advertising for associations or for cannabis in general.

On-site consumption would not be allowed in the clubs, but the clubs could distribute up to seven seeds or five cuttings per month to each member for use in their own cultivation.

Although German authorities have apparently backed off from their initial plan to establish a nationwide commercial cannabis market, it is expected that there will eventually be a second complementary framework allowing the sale of cannabis to retailers in certain jurisdictions, as part of a pilot program that would allow the country to evaluate further reforms over a five-year period.

Specifically, authorities will study the impact of stores on consumer trends and the illicit market. Localities will have to choose whether to allow these stores to open.

Germany will ask the European Union (EU) to approve this aspect of the draft law relating to sales “under research”. Provisions for possession and home cultivation will not be subject to European scrutiny.

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