Germany Shifts Plan for Cannabis Legalization to Nonprofits and Personal Use

1.6 min readPublished On: April 17th, 2023By

LOS ANGELES– German officials have scaled back their plans for the legalization of cannabis after consulting with the European Union (EU), according to the Associated Press. Instead of a widespread retail industry, regulators now plan for a lower-profile legalization modelled primarily by nonprofits and cannabis consumers themselves, rather than private industry.

The revised plan would allow personal possession of up to 25 grams, equivalent to just under one ounce, and allow individuals to grow up to three cannabis plants per person. Individuals 18 and older could also join nonprofit “cannabis clubs” that could charge compensation for cultivating marijuana for their members, which would be capped at 500 members apiece. Club members could buy up to 30 grams a month, or a maximum of 30 grams for those under 21. Members would also be banned from joining more than one club.

The revised plan includes a five-year pilot program for “regulated commercial supply chains in select regions” in Germany. Those details are still to be determined, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said.

The plan still requires approval from Germany’s parliament, but Alfredo Pascual, vice president of investment analysis as Seed Innovations, wrote on LinkedIn that the first part – legalizing personal possession and nonprofit clubs – “should be implemented quite soon and won’t need EU approval.”

Lauterbach said he does not want to follow the approach of neighboring Holland, which has taken a hands-off approach to regulating cannabis businesses while allowing personal consumption.

Members of the global cannabis industry were disappointed by the news. Although they praised the German government for decriminalizing cannabis, they criticized the new plan as an exercise in “half-measures” that will “promote the illicit market,” since a fully mature and regulated market is apparently still years away.

“Progress depends on the … pilot project,” said Bloomwell Group CEO Niklas Kouparanis in a statement. “We urge Karl Lauterbach to advocate for and move toward legislation that legalizes cannabis across the supply chain.”

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