New weed draft law reveals strict rules for Germany’s cannabis clubs

New weed draft law reveals strict rules for Germany’s cannabis clubs

Almost one month after Karl Lauterbach announced marijuana would be legalised in Germany in 2023, a weed draft law has outlined the health minister's strict rules for the country’s new cannabis clubs.

Lauterbach’s draft law for cannabis clubs revealed

An early version of Karl Lauterbach’s plan to legalise marijuana in certain contexts in Germany has not yet been agreed upon by the government but gives an insight as to what the country’s up-and-coming cannabis clubs will look like in practice.

When Karl Lauterbach and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir announced last month that Germany would get the ball to legalisation rolling quickly, the then-dubbed “Cannabis Social Clubs” (CSC) were pitched as the heart of the government’s plan, an element which the SPD believes has the potential to prevent cannabis tourism from becoming a problem in Germany. 

Now, according to the new draft law secured by the dpa, these clubs, also to be known as Anbauvereinigungen or cultivation associations, will be strictly regulated. Cultivation, dispensing, club membership and the organisation of the clubs’ premises will be closely monitored, while cannabis consumption will be forbidden at the club itself and within a 250-metre radius of a club’s premises.

Rules for Germany’s cannabis clubs

The draft law is yet to be voted on in the Bundestag, and future re-drafts are possible before the plan goes to vote, but as it stands, the following rules will apply to Germany’s cannabis clubs and their members:

Distribution to members only and packaging

Cannabis clubs will only be allowed to sell weed to people who are members of the club. Memberships will be limited to 500 people per club and nobody will be allowed to be part of more than one club. 

Younger members between the ages of 18 and 21 will only be able to purchase cannabis that has a THC content of no more than 10 percent and will be limited to purchasing a maximum of 30 grams per month.

Members over 21 years old will be able to purchase a maximum of 50 grams per month, which will be sold in “neutral packaging or unpackaged” so as to avoid “consumption incentives”. Information on the packaging will include the product weight, harvest date, best-before date, variety and the THC and CBD content in percentage. 

Cannabis clubs must report to authorities annually

According to the dpa, Germany’s cannabis clubs will have to report their activity to the relevant authorities on an annual basis. This includes how much cannabis the club produced over the previous year, how potent it was, how much was sold to every member, and how much was destroyed.

The clubs will also be required to record where they get their cannabis seeds, where the seeds are stored and how many plants they have grown. Limitations on pesticide and fertiliser usage must also be adhered to. 

Protection against underage consumption and addiction

In order to limit underage consumption of cannabis, the clubs will be restricted from operating within the proximity of Kitas and schools

According to the dpa, each club will also be required to write up a health and youth protection plan, as well as appoint a trained addiction prevention officer.

Public marijuana consumption will still be restricted

Though it will be forbidden to consume marijuana on the premises of a cannabis club, public consumption will also be limited. Nobody will be allowed to smoke within 250 metres of a school, Kita, play area, youth club or sports facility.

Consumption in pedestrian areas will also be forbidden between the hours of 7am and 8pm.

General sales still to be prohibited

The original plan, which would have seen cannabis sales legalised in pharmacies and other speciality shops, is still off the cards for now. Lauterbach and Özdemir announced last month that this will first be trialled in a number of regions and introduced if the trials are deemed successful. 

However, the draft law has maintained that people will be allowed to carry up to 25 grams on their person and cultivate a maximum of three plants at home. Currently, limited possession is allowed, although the amount varies greatly depending on the federal state. In most states, a maximum of 6 grams is allowed for personal use and in Berlin, up to 15 grams.

Thumb image credit: Inside Creative House /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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