Germany, first European country to legalize recreational cannabis?

Germany, a first step for Europe in the recreational cannabis market? The country led by Angela Merkel in discussion for new projects.

It could indeed be that Germany, led by the Christian Democrats with Angela Merkel at its helm, becomes the first European country to take its place in the recreational cannabis market.

In the last three months, the Green Party has managed to overtake the Christian Democrat coalition to take the lead in the opinion polls. Twenty years ago, the Greens did not carry much weight in the polls with 7% of the votes. Now they have grown significantly and are getting 20-25% of the vote.

The party claims to be for the legalization of cannabis for adult use with the support of the majority of political parties that encourage at least some liberalization of the plant.

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In an interview for BusinessCann, Mr. Wurth, director and spokesman of the German Cannabis Association, states his opinion on the progress of the project: "We have had 16 years of Christian Democrats and there has been no progress on adult use. Whereas we had medical cannabis and now there is a large majority in the Bundestag (parliament) for the reform of recreational cannabis.". He adds that "After the elections, most parties will want legalization, only the Christian Democrats and the Alternative for Germany still want prohibition." Furthermore, "All other parties want legalization or, together with the Social Democrats, a legal trial project in some cities and decriminalization."

According to polls held by the German Hemp Association, support for legalization would have risen from 30 to 46 percent between 2014 and 2021. Jürgen Neumeyer, managing director of the association expresses his opinion by saying that "in Germany, the discussion on cannabis reform is happening more often and gaining momentum, with most political parties now in favor of some form of liberalization" and that "when the political conditions are right, many issues will have to be clarified, for example: advertising, protection of our youth, tax issues, sales outlets, cultivation, quality control, dosage and in what form? The German cannabis industry should then also take a position on this."

He also points out the difficulties that legislation will face: "Germany is known for its compliance, so it will take some time to develop the legislation. You only have to look at the CBD and hemp market to see how far behind Germany is on this."

However, the main interest of the Germans remains the scientific and societal benefits to come out of this decision and not the economic benefits and tax revenues, which is why the country may appear "slower" than others.

The Green Party therefore proposes to introduce a law allowing the purchase of the substance and the "legal and controlled distribution of cannabis in authorized specialized stores".