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420 with CNW — Partial Legalization of Cannabis in Germany to Take Effect in April

The German parliament has given the green light to partially legalize marijuana for recreational personal use, ushering in some of Europe’s most lenient cannabis regulations. The substance was made legal for recreational use in Malta and Luxembourg in 2023 and 2021, respectively. The Netherlands, on the other hand, which is renowned for having lax marijuana laws, has started toughening up on sales to visitors and nonresidents.

The German approval came following a landmark vote in the Upper House, or Bundesrat, where legislators endorsed the measure. Once the new regulations take effect on April 1, 2024, individuals will be allowed to obtain up to 25 grams of marijuana per day through regulated cultivation associations. Additionally, they can cultivate up to three cannabis plants.

While this move represents a progressive stance, especially in comparison to neighboring countries, the law still prohibits cannabis possession and use for individuals under the age of 18, maintaining a degree of caution.

The journey toward approval wasn’t without its challenges. Internal conflicts arose over the marijuana issue within the alliance, which includes the Greens, the Free Democratic Party and Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats. The initial plan to allow cannabis sales in shops was thwarted by the European Union, leading to the formulation of a secondary law aimed at piloting such sales in specific regions.

Ahead of the vote, Karl Lauterbach, the health minister, urged parliamentarians to support the contentious law, citing a surge in youth marijuana consumption sourced from the illicit market. However, opposition voices, such as Simone Borchardt from the Christian Democratic Union, raised concerns about the potential health risks, particularly for young people. Borchardt criticized the coalition government, accusing officials of prioritizing ideology over the nation’s interests.

Despite having already been passed by the Bundestag last month, the legislation still required Bundesrat approval, which it successfully obtained.

Advocates of the measure, such as the German Marijuana Association, highlighted the dangers associated with black-market marijuana, which can be contaminated with various substances, including heroin or synthetic cannabinoids.

Steffen Geyer, head of Berlin’s Hemp Museum, hailed the bill as a move toward a more reasonable and tolerant marijuana policy. Opponents of the law, however, pointed out that cannabis use among the youth might have negative consequences on the central nervous system and raise the risk of schizophrenia and psychosis.

The new regulation is still polarizing public opinion: a recent YouGov survey found 47% in favor and 42% against. This is a reflection of the ongoing discussion about legalizing cannabis and the necessity for rules that strike a balance between protecting individual liberties and public-health issues.

The legal changes to marijuana laws in Germany could eventually open opportunities for established companies such as Canopy Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: CGC) (TSX: WEED) that have set their sights on expanding beyond their primary markets.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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