By / April 24, 2023

German Cannabis Legalization Remains Nebulous

Last week, when German Health Minister Lauterbach and Agriculture Minister Özdemir presented the key points on the legalization of cannabis, there were tears of both joy and sadness.

While five million German cannabis enthusiasts could hardly believe their luck at being freed from the shackles of prohibition soon, the legal medicinal cannabis industry was not too amused that the German government intended to withhold the billion-dollar business from them.

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Goodbye German Medical Cannabis Dreams

The dream of a monopoly in the big business with the green gold has burst for now, and the greed of German speculators has been slowed down. There will be no industrial production of medicinal cannabis by big pharmaceutical companies anytime soon.

In essence, everything remains the same if it goes as planned. Commercial cultivation, import, and trade will remain in the hands of that courageous group of people who have ensured the supply of hashish and cannabis to the German population for more than half a century, and that too at somewhat socially acceptable prices. Nobody needs to fear in the coming years that the German pharmaceutical industry will deprive the underground cannabis culture of its ground and re-label the “yeast of thought” as a luxury lifestyle product.

German Cannabis Enthusiasts Rejoice

The German government’s plan to allow citizens to possess 25 grams of cannabis and grow three hemp plants for personal use is, without a doubt, a small and unintended stroke of genius.

Similar to the Dutch government that decriminalized the smoking population in 1976, the German government now also accidentally opens the door for a somewhat civilized approach to the existing cannabis culture.

What can grow from this can be seen in the Netherlands, where the genie that was once let out of the bottle has not been caught again to this day. Now, German cannabishemp enthusiasts should also have the guaranteed right to decide for themselves which type of hashish or marijuana goes into their smoking device.

EU Resistance Prompted German Approach

Great thanks for this are due to the European Union, which is steadfast in its prohibition and has strongly warned Germany not to take an unauthorized approach to cannabis policy. Without this raised finger, the German government may have had the courage to implement the originally intended legalization of cannabis and hand over billions in profits to the big pharma companies and their shareholders.

All the more brilliant is the current idea of the German ministers to want to guide the “light legalization” of cannabis through Cannabis Social Clubs in an orderly manner. Non-profit clubs should be allowed to grow and distribute cannabis for recreational purposes to adult members.

This model is almost revolutionary and contradicts all the rules of asocial market economics, which are exclusively geared toward profit. Now, to hand over the German supply of cannabis to enthusiasts and cooperatives that do not bow to the dictates of capitalism almost smells of communism.

It is also astonishing that the free-market liberals of the FDP remain silent about the legalization plans that they themselves have hatched. Justice Minister Buschmann is ducking, knowing full well that the approval of Cannabis Social Clubs that grow their own weed is a betrayal of his own voter base. And these gentlemen cannot believe that the billion-dollar business of non-profit cannabis clubs is to be stolen from them.

Pharmaceutical Companies Continue to Speculate

While the bosses of the pharmaceutical companies welcome the paradigm shift in German cannabis policy, they continue to speculate unashamedly on the monopoly of cannabis cultivation. They say value creation should only take place in Germany, which can only happen through quality-controlled production in certified greenhouses that are state-controlled and monitored. The pharmaceutical lobby’s strategy is clear: yes to Cannabis Social Clubs, but only if they are not allowed to grow their own cannabis.

So, we can look forward to the German draft legislation and implementation regulations. The hope that the war against cannabis will actually be stopped is great, but doubts about the feasibility of “light legalization” are far from dispelled.

(Featured image by Dad Grass via Pexels)

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