Luxembourg releases recreational marijuana proposal for ‘residents only’

Luxembourg’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana may be a milestone for the European Union, but business opportunities will be limited by a provision that would allow sales only to the country’s “adult residents.”

The new government “isn’t considering transforming Luxembourg into a cannabis tourism destination,” a source in the Luxembourg Socialist Workers Party – one of the coalition members – told Marijuana Business Daily on condition of anonymity.

Luxembourg is home to only 600,000 people.

Still, Luxembourg would be the first country in Europe to permit and regulate adult-use marijuana – a significant milestone for a continent that has thus far authorized only medical cannabis.

The coalition released a 250-page policy document on Monday that provides some details on last week’s announcement of plans to introduce legislation to legalize recreational cannabis – including the objectives of such a move:

  • Remove consumers from the black market.
  • Reduce “psychological and physical harms.”
  • Reduce criminal activity at the supply level.

The document notes that the production, purchase, possession and consumption will be regulated within Luxembourg’s borders, which likely would not allow for exports or imports.

While the policy document demonstrates forward movement, “the agreement is to do this in the next legislative period, which means up to five years,” according to the Socialist Workers Party source.

Luxembourg is a member of the European Union, which allows for broader open borders for trade and tourism, but the party source does not expect the government to get into any legal hot water by excluding other EU residents from purchasing recreational cannabis.

The European Court of Justice previously ruled in a case involving Dutch coffee shops that the freedom of movement and nondiscrimination guaranteed by EU law couldn’t be relied on to allow for the purchase of marijuana. 

The policy document also establishes a two-year evaluation period for Luxembourg’s medical cannabis program – legalized earlier this year – after which the country will decide whether to follow Germany’s model, where MMJ is covered by medical insurance.

Alfredo Pascual can be reached at

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