German government publish plan for cannabis legalisation

German government publish plan for cannabis legalisation

The German government has published a plan which outlines how marijuana will be sold legally in Germany once it is decriminalised.

Germany publishes marijuana legalisation plan

The German government has released a draft outline of how cannabis production and trade will be organised in the country once it is legalised. According to a benchmark paper by the Federal Ministry of Health, anyone in Germany over the age of 18 will be able to buy and carry up to 20 grams of cannabis without facing any criminal punishment by the police

For now, cannabis is still illegal in Germany, but federal states do already have different limits for how many grams of marijuana people can carry for it to be considered to be an “insignificant amount” for personal use. According to Schlun & Elseven, a law firm in Germany, these amounts range from as little as 6 grams in most states, up to 10 grams in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia and up to 15 grams in Berlin.

The report, written by health minister Karl Lauterbach, also outlined that those selling cannabis legally will require a vendor's licence. Cannabis which is produced legally will only be allowed to have a THC content of 15 percent, while cannabis sold to those between the ages of 18 and 21 will have a maximum THC content of 10 percent. The paper also states that shops selling cannabis, so-called Coffeeshops, will be banned from areas surrounding schools.

How would weed legalisation change the German economy?

Legalising cannabis is expected to bring a significant boost to the German economy through taxation. Lauterbach’s paper stated that, on top of standard VAT (Umsatzsteuer), a special “cannabis tax” will be applied to sales. According to a report by the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, legalising cannabis could generate around 4,7 billion euros every year in public funds, as well as create around 27.000 jobs

Marijuana legalisation is likely to lead to a growth in tourism across Germany. This could be another motivation for the traffic-light coalition’s decision to include the policy in their agreement last autumn. However, copious drug tourism has led countries like the Netherlands to impose local council-level bans on tourists purchasing marijuana in some areas, instead introducing a “weed pass” only available to locals.

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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