Contenders of a proposed measure aiming to legalize cannabis in Germany faced a setback as they failed to garner sufficient support to thwart its progression through the legislative process. Germany’s legislative framework comprises two main chambers: the Bundesrat (also known as the Federal Council), comprising individual states’ representatives, and the Bundestag, which comprises democratically elected legislators. The legalization measure was presented in the Bundesrat, where lawmakers advocated for amendments but were unable to halt its advancement.
Germany’s federal cabinet, from whom the measure originally came, will now respond to the Bundesrat’s input before sending the law to the Bundestag for potential approval.
The motion to pause the legislation made by the Bavarian Bundesrat Rep. was rejected, as was a proposal to need the formal approval of the Bundesrat prior to legalization. Another attempt to raise the current draft’s 18-year-old legal possession age limit was similarly unsuccessful. However, there was consensus among the state representatives that the bill had a systemic enforcement weakness. They are seeking amendments to ensure that the states are not burdened with administrative expenditures associated with the federal government’s implementation of regulations.
The legalization proposal received 80 amendments from Bundesrat committees, including proposals to address drunk driving, prohibit alcohol sales and use in marijuana clubs, and set safety requirements for growing facilities.
The cabinet is expected to issue a counterstatement, after which the bill will proceed to the Bundestag. If it passes there, the Bundesrat can debate the measure but cannot block its implementation.
If enacted, the bill would permit adults 18 years of age and older to legally possess marijuana and grow up to three cannabis plants for personal use. Furthermore, the proposal introduces social clubs to distribute cannabis to members, with purchase caps of 25 grams per day for those older than 21 years of age and 30 grams monthly for those aged 18 to 21. The clubs cannot be established within a 200-meter radius of educational institutions or playgrounds. There are also specific limits on the number of clubs per district or city.
The bill also includes cost estimates for program implementation, potential savings from reduced enforcement and expected new revenue collected through employment taxes.
Germany’s journey toward legalization involved months of internal discussions and negotiations, complemented by visits to California marijuana businesses. Additionally, high-level meetings with European counterparts signaled a commitment to ending cannabis prohibition and regulating the industry.
As more markets such as Germany open on the European continent, enterprises such as Canopy Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: CGC) (TSX: WEED) could have a larger international market to expand into.
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