By / May 4, 2023

Luxembourg Unveils Plan For Legal Cannabis Market

A working group appointed by the Luxembourg government has published its proposals for the pilot project of cannabis legalization in Luxembourg. The document, entitled Experimental Arrangement for Legal Access to Cannabis for Non-Medical Purposes, outlines projections for a fully legal adult-use cannabis market in the country, which will limit access to residents over the age of 18.

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Luxembourg Legalization Recommendations

The Luxembourg recommendations allow for the possession of up to 3 grams of cannabis, the cultivation of up to 4 plants at home, and a retail market where residents would be allowed to purchase up to 5 grams per day, up to 30 grams per month.

One of the plan’s key recommendations is “that access to cannabis for non-medical purposes be regulated through a rigorous and robust pilot project, tailored to the specific needs of Luxembourg.”

The framework for Luxembourg was drafted after consultation with an inter-ministerial working group. The final document was then submitted to four international experts, Henri Bergeron, research director at the CNRS, Rebecca Jesseman, policy director at the Canadian Centre on Addiction and Substance Use, Tomas Zabransky, Czech epidemiologist, and Steve Rolles, policy analyst at the Transform Drug Policy Foundation.

Pre-Legalization in Luxembourg – Phase 1

The first phase of the pilot project would be to amend current Luxembourg legislation, the law of February 19, 1973, on the sale of drug substances.

Once the bill is passed, a maximum of 4 cannabis plants per household will be allowed for personal use. Consumption of cannabis in public places will remain prohibited, and strict rules will apply to distribution and sale of cannabis in Luxembourg.

Cannabis Legalization – Phase 2

The next phase will be the development of a state-controlled cannabis production and sales chain. To this end, a pilot project will be set up to explore ways to improve the situation in Luxembourg. The experiment aims to determine how the sale of cannabis can be regulated, ensuring that access is only granted to those who meet the criteria, such as being a resident of Luxembourg and over 18 years of age.

It is planned to grant two production licenses and to create 14 sales points in Luxembourg. The sale of cannabis in public places will remain prohibited and consumption places will not be allowed.

Study to Launch the Project in Luxembourg

To launch the project, a study is being conducted at the Luxembourg Institute for Social Research and Market Studies (Ilres) to analyze current consumption patterns in the country. A survey of 3,000 people will be conducted. The results will be available by the end of the year.

The objectives of the Luxembourg government combine public health and safety. On the prevention side, the main objectives are to reduce the consumption of high-risk cannabis by ensuring a quality product. On the security side, Luxembourg wants to progressively eliminate the illicit cannabis market by reducing drug-related organized crime and by keeping consumers out of the criminal underworld.

Beyond Luxembourg – European Legalization

Luxembourg is the first country in Europe to announce its intention to allow an adult-use cannabis market as part of its government policy. The agreement finalizing the formation of the new coalition government in 2018 contained a provision to decriminalize or legalize cannabis.

The Luxembourg agreement stated, “Legislation on the recreational use of cannabis will be developed. Its main objectives will be to decriminalize or even legalize, under conditions yet to be determined, the production on Luxembourg territory, as well as the purchase, possession, and recreational use of cannabis for the personal needs of residents of legal age; to get consumers off the black market; to resolutely reduce the mental and physical dangers associated with it; and to fight crime on the supply side.”

Since Luxembourg made its historic announcement in 2018, many other countries in Europe have made changes to their cannabis policies, such as Malta becoming the first country in Europe to allow access to recreational cannabis.

Other countries changing their stance on cannabis for adult use include GermanySwitzerland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

(Featured image by Laura Paredis via Pexels)

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