How does the German cannabis scene work, and what are the current prospects of of growing and consuming legal cannabis in Germany? This blog explores where the country is headed, weed-wise, as well as explaining the current situation when it comes to laws and legislation on hemp and cannabis in Germany.
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The Steady Rise Of Cannabis In Germany
The legalization of cannabis in Germany has been moving slowly but surely since 2017 when the prescription of medicinal cannabis was allowed. And if the early signs are anything to go by, we should soon see this European country join the many nations where cannabis is fully legal.
Recreational use of marijuana and its large-scale cultivation should even be the subject of a set of laws by the end of 2022. Germany’s smooth transition to a truly green economy is underway, but as we will explain below, there are still some major hurdles to be taken before we can enjoy and grow legal cannabis in Germany.
Medicinal Cannabis In Germany
Germany with 82 million inhabitants is the largest market on the continent and the largest importer of cannabis in the world. About 128,000 people each year are currently prescribed cannabis-based medicines or cannabis flowers in Germany.
The physician prescribes cannabis or its derivatives such as Sativex, Dronabinol, and Nabilone, only to patients for whom conventional treatments do not work. The “negative” image of cannabis as a psychotropic and illicit drug with its adverse consequences is still prevalent in the German medical community. This is one of the reasons why doctors are often reluctant to choose this alternative.
However, cannabis is for instance indicated and prescribed for symptoms such as depression, chronic pain, migraine, and anorexia. Reimbursed by most insurance companies and exclusively distributed in pharmacies, medicinal cannabis prescription is increasing by 40% every year. And of course, this craze for the therapeutic benefits of weed inspires those who like to consume cannabis for pleasure.
Legalization Of Recreational Cannabis In Germany
Historically, cannabis is a plant that has always been part of the Germanic landscape. According to archaeological evidence, in ancient times, cannabis was a highly respected plant and used in rituals and for medicinal purposes. And yet, today, even if CBD is fully legal as it is throughout Europe, the recreational use of cannabis is dividing the public opinion among German citizens.
The democratization of medicinal cannabis on German territory has not been enough to convince those who are against legalization. Indeed, a large majority of conservative Germans (63%) and especially the dominant party (Christian Democratic Union) are against a lax attitude towards the consumption and cultivation of cannabis. The “opponents” are looking for “safety first” and prioritize the protection of minors regarding cannabis consumption. And they are irrevocably not in favor of the legalization of recreational cannabis.
Penalties For Use And Possession Of Cannabis In Germany
Although cannabis is the most frequently seized drug in Germany among young populations, possession for personal use is rarely punished. Consumption that is subject to a fine is considered a criminal act that is recorded in the criminal record of the person penalized. However, it can be said without undue optimism that there is a good chance that these repressive measures will disappear in the near future.
How Likely Is A 2022 Legalization Of Cannabis In Germany?
Burkhard Blienert, the federal government’s commissioner for addiction and drug issues announced in June 2022, that a plan to legalize cannabis will be presented before the end of 2022. A series of hearings of more than 200 experts in addiction, medicine, and law is currently taking place to set up the legislation for the project.
Unlike the Netherlands, where the sale of cannabis in coffee shops preceded the legal and controlled authorization of production, Germany is planning a total solution. Burkhard Bliener wants the production, distribution, and sale to be entirely under legal control. The production of cannabis for the recreational market should represent 400 to 600 tons of weed per year, which implies the necessity to import and involve other European countries in this huge network.
As more and more European countries are considering legalizing the consumption, production, sale, and distribution of cannabis, legislation will have to change drastically to find a consensus. The prospects for commercialization of cannabis in Germany and many other countries are extremely encouraging and stimulating, allowing the creation of jobs, and finding efficient systems of production and distribution with a focus on quality and public health.
Will the consequences be always favorable and homogeneous in all countries? Each country has different standards of living, structures, and cultures and will not face the same challenges. One can think for example of the level of criminality linked to drug trafficking and the social consequences for those who live from the clandestine sale of weed. Is the exposure of young people to cannabis loaded with more than 20% THC desirable and will legalization not facilitate access to cannabis for minors?
All those questions are carefully examined by experts in Germany but in all the countries where legalization is taking place. This will probably bring new insights to find the best way to legally include cannabis in modern society, enhancing the bright side and controlling the dangers of weed legalization.
Signs Of Impending Legalization
The unanimity of CBD legalization is a model that can serve as a basis for regulating the medical and recreational markets for cannabis in Germany. 2024 seems to be the first date on the horizon when Germany will officially start producing and selling recreational cannabis. In the meantime, the Hanfparade in Berlin in August 2022, a demonstration in favor of the legalization of recreational cannabis, was held to confirm the tug-of-war between liberals and conservatives.
It remains to be seen which way the balance will be tilted, but although Germany, like France and Belgium, is not in favor of cannabis decriminalization, there is hope for a happy ending. When we see the wave of cannabis legalization worldwide, the resistance against legal cannabis in Germany will probably not hold too long and compromises will have to be found.
Preparing For Legal Cannabis In Germany
If you live in Germany, or if you plan to do business with this changing country by 2024, follow the info on our blogs to be sure not to miss the boat! And above all, develop your know-how by growing the best cannabis seeds: visit our online store and stock up!
If you are ready to grow premium cannabis in Germany, then by all means, go right ahead. We have been shipping first-class genetics to German clients for years, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see little pieces of Amsterdam growing in Germany if we looked closely!