Germany kicks off preparatory phase of cannabis legislation

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Germany is set to launch a series of expert hearings at the Federal Ministry of Health this week as part of the country’s plan to legalize cannabis production and sale.

Germany could become only the second Group of 20 nation to legalize the cultivation and sale of recreational cannabis, after Canada regulated the drug starting in 2018.

The financial opportunity could be in the billions of dollars, but experts warn that the size of the addressable market would be dependent on the law and regulations – which have yet to be developed – not only on the population size.

The ministry announced that the first of five hearings is set to take place this week.

The five hearings will cover:

  • Health and consumer protection.
  • Protection of minors and prevention.
  • Supply chains, ecological and economic issues.
  • Criminal liability, control measures and licensing.
  • International experiences.

“We are starting the preparatory phase of legislation,” Burkhard Blienert, Germany’s drug and addiction commissioner, said in a news release.

“The hearings are intended to discuss which measures can be used to ensure the best protection for young people, health and consumers in the event of implementation.

“Because one thing is clear: we want to protect children and young people in particular from possible risks.”

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The process is expected to draw from more than 200 leading experts on addiction medicine, addiction help, law, business and industry associations as well as representatives of Germany’s states, municipalities, federal ministries and other federal authorities.

Global experts will also have their say during an “international experiences” hearing scheduled for June 30.