German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has expressed confidence that the country’s plan to legalize recreational cannabis might soon overcome one of its biggest hurdles – European Union approval.
Lauterbach also said a bill to legalize cannabis in Germany could be published “in the next few weeks,” potentially before the end of March or early April.
“We will soon present a proposal that … conforms to European law,” Lauterbach said.
Before a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels this week, Lauterbach reportedly said he received “very good feedback” from the European Commission regarding the cannabis legalization blueprint.
Germany’s blueprint of the pending law was sent to the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, for approval last fall to ensure its compatibility with EU and global drug laws.
A result is expected in the coming weeks.
Germany’s government previously said the legislative process, including actually drafting a law and regulations, will continue only if the plan receives EU approval.
The nation’s legalization plan is similar to Canada’s approach and focuses on public health – both to protect youth and erode the illicit market.
The proposed blueprint had suggested 2024 was a realistic date for the program’s launch.
The blueprint also said recreational cannabis cultivation will occur only within Germany’s borders.
Some global producers had been hoping Europe’s largest economy would find a way to allow imports – even though adult-use marijuana shipments across borders aren’t permitted under international drug-control treaties.