As Germany ramps up its plans to legalize recreational cannabis by the end of this year, experts are predicting demand for 400-600 tons of dried flowers per year. This demand has to be met somehow, and some are warning it will not be possible to cover this demand with domestic production alone. The country must engage in international trade agreements, which is easier said than done.
While the plan to legalize cannabis in Germany should be presented by the end of the year, Europe’s leading economy began hearings this month from more than 200 experts in addictions, medicine, and law to prepare for the legislative process.
In an interview with the online news portal Web.de, Burkhard Blienert, German Government Commissioner for Addictions and Drugs, said that these consultations would pave the way for the presentation of the first piece of legislation by October 2022, with first sales estimated on 1 January 2024, or even earlier.
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Supply, the Main Stumbling Block for Germany
Burkhard Niermann believes that one of the big problems Germany will face is supplying the market from day one.
He told BusinessCann, “The demand for 400-600 tons of dried flowers (per year) has to be met somehow. It will not be possible to cover this demand by national production; imports are necessary.”
“We must therefore find countries that share the same ideas and with which we can conclude international trade agreements by legally modifying the regulations of the single conventions.”
German Legalization Presents EU Convention Problems
The means by which Germany will legalize cannabis while respecting international and European conventions and regulations are proving to be challenging.
Burkhard Blienert addressed this point in his interview with the German online news outlet Web.de: “The protection of consumer health must be the focus. And no one can say anything against health protection.”
He added: “Across Europe, we have a debate about how to deal with cannabis. This is why we are also putting the international question on the agenda of the German consultation process. We need a solution as to how the whole can be organized within the framework of European and international law.”
An International Diplomatic Effort
“It will represent a huge diplomatic effort for German government authorities, in particular, to convince member states and EU officials that a licensed supply chain would not violate EU regulations.”
When Canada and Uruguay legalized cannabis for adult use, they were threatened with sanctions by the International Narcotics Control Board, without any punitive measures being taken.
In a recent report, Kenzi Riboulet-Zemouli highlighted the potential leeway in international conventions to allow countries like Germany to regulate uses other than medical and research.
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