Vote delayed on Germany’s recreational cannabis legislation

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A vote on Germany’s watered-down bill to legalize some recreational cannabis use has been delayed until at least December.

The pending law “will be decided in December,” German politician Carmen Wegge wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“This means that we are not keeping to the schedule.”

Her post also noted that improvements to the bill are in everyone’s interest, a possible indication the measure faces further tweaking before the vote can be held.

Germany originally signaled that the law could enter into force before the end of this year, but the delay means early 2024 is more realistic.

If a vote were held in December, the legislation automatically goes to the Federal Council in February – a legislative body of the Bundesrat.

If approved, the law would lay the legal foundation for home cultivation and not-for-profit “cultivation associations,” whose members will be allowed to grow cannabis collectively and share a limited amount within the group for their own consumption.

The law also would require that an evaluation take place on the social impact of legalized cannabis after four years.

Originally, Germany had intended to fully legalize cannabis but decided on a lighter, two-track approach when the plan met resistance from the European Commission – the European Union’s executive branch.