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Germany takes next step to open cannabis shops

Germany takes next step to open cannabis shops

The German government is moving to implement the second pillar of its cannabis legalisation law, which will trial the commercial sale of marijuana and edibles in cannabis shops.

Germany moves forward with legalising sale of marijuana and edibles

A new regulation has named Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BLE) as the responsible body to “authorise and monitor the handling of cannabis for scientific purposes”.

Now that the BLE has the authority to issue the licence required to grow and trade cannabis for scientific purposes, the government can begin implementing the “second pillar” of its cannabis legalisation law by trialling the commercial sale of cannabis in certain regions and German cities.

Speaking to SPIEGEL, Jürgen Neumeyer of the Cannabiswirtschaft Verband, the trade association of the cannabis industry, said that the development paved a “practicable way [...] to sell cannabis products legally in Germany”.

What is Germany’s second pillar of cannabis legalisation?

On April 1, Germany implemented its “Schnellesäule” (speedy pillar) of the cannabis legalisation law. Since then, it has been legal for anyone in Germany over the age of 18 to grow up to three cannabis plants and keep up to 50 grams of cannabis in possession at home. Adults can also carry up to 25 grams of cannabis on their person in public spaces.

From July 1, 2024, Germany will allow Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC), to which people will have to register as members. These clubs are at the heart of the new law and will allow members over 21 years old to purchase up to 50 grams of cannabis per month. CSC members aged between 18 and 21 will only be allowed to purchase cannabis with a maximum THC content of 10 percent, and only up to 30 grams per month.

However, neither of these new rules allows people over the age of 18 to walk into a shop and purchase cannabis, like they can with beer or cigarettes. This is where the second pillar comes in.

Now that the BLE has been designated as the body to “authorise and monitor the handling of cannabis for scientific purposes”, the government can test commercial sales at shops and pharmacies in specific regions. If these trials are deemed successful, the government will allow commercial sales as part “state-controlled supply chain” from cultivation to delivery and sale.

So far, some German federal states, such as North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria have said that they will not take part in the regional trials.

Thumb image credit: Federico Magonio / Shutterstock.com

Olivia Logan

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Olivia Logan

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