Germans, cannabis advocates, and international observers are very curious to know what the just concluded elections mean for the current cannabis reform trend in the European nation.
Analysts have put forward their projections on what they think could happen next. The common buzz in these projections is that everyone believes the status quo is about to change.
Cannabis Legislation in Germany
Germany has a cannabis measure that permits the use of medical cannabis. The measure was legalized in 1998, and in 2017, the law was modified to include other medical conditions as well as establish a provision for domestic production, export, and import of medical cannabis.
Over one hundred thousand patients are registered under the German medical cannabis program, as disclosed by the federal institute for drugs and medical devices.
Despite being the fourth largest market in the world for cannabis oil exports, Germany has no adult-use legislation.
All countries in Europe, except Georgia, do not permit the use, possession, cultivation, and sale of adult-use cannabis. It is illegal!
Simple possession of cannabis in Germany attracts a five-year penalty sentence and the German Federal Narcotics Act regulates everything that pertains to cannabis in the country. First-time offenders caught with less than 6 grams are given lighter punishments.
This has not deterred the growth of the medical industry, the country imported over 9,000 kg of medical cannabis last year. With the establishment of a domestic supply market, more cannabis will be imported into the region.
Changes, Changes, Changes
The results of the German national election are in and the observed upset in the electoral map shows that the new government will be an unusual one.
Cannabis advocates in Germany and Europe may witness new dawn in the industry, as the winning parties in the new government are pro-cannabis reforms. Patients and adults of legal age may finally be getting a recreational market and a federal law that permits the use, possession, and sales of adult-use cannabis.
This change has been a long time coming, the refusal of the previous government to enact adult-use reforms may have been rooted in inarguable points, however, I cannot but commend them for the top-quality medical cannabis industry they put in place and maintained. The only issue in the industry remains the burdensome insurance requirements.
There had been quite a several high-profile thefts in the country before the elections that pointed that changes were coming. One of such is the popular raid of one of the top grocery retailers in Germany in August, and it was none other than the police force that did this raid.
Before the elections, the cannabis business community filed a petition to declassify CBD under the German Narcotics Act. The lawsuit, which is now pending, was a measure to cajole the previous government into making better cannabis reforms that are in line with the European Union level. In 2020, the union decided that cannabinoid was wrongly classified as a narcotics.
Luckily for everyone in the German cannabis industry, they can now look forward to changing beyond the mere declassification of CBD.
What To Expect
In the next few weeks, pundits expect a union between the Social Democratic Party, the Greens, and the Free Democratic Party. The creation of a coalition government by these parties will usher in a new dispensation in Germany. The new government will most likely include cannabis reforms among its important agenda within the next eight years and cannabis trials to test high-THC cannabis will also be carried out.
Even if only two of these strong pro-cannabis reform parties form a union, recreational cannabis will still be on the table.
It is still too premature to state whether or not they would be able to pull this off.
Christian Lindner, an FDM party member whose election slogan— wie est ist, darf es nicht bleiben (translated in English as things cannot stay the way they are) has reportedly announced that cannabis legislation will be the uniting point in the new government.
If this comes to be, a new and massive market will be opening up for Germans and neighboring countries. It will possibly lead to the legislation of recreational cannabis. Germany
What this means for Europe
The resignation of Angela Markel, as well as the defeat of the Christain Democratic Union (CDU), is one of the notable events in Europe in recent times. Europe's stance against recreational cannabis may change if the new coalition is successful in legitimizing the use of adult weed.
Germany has a strong grip on politics in European countries, with Germans defecting to a new party to show how tired they were about the old norm, it won't be long before other European citizens defect to new parties.
Cannabis regulations in Europe are cumbersome and tiring, the jail penalty for offenders has dissuaded many Europeans in the political class. With the rise of a new German government, it is clear that the EU will be heading (slowly or not) to progressive cannabis reform that decriminalizes the use of the drug for all.
The intended Swiss trial for recreational cannabis which is scheduled to be held in Germany will do more to persuade the lawmakers to enact any kind of cannabis reform, provided that it goes well with the general public.
More countries will be leaving the EU cannabis vacuum within the next few years. Holland is already making plans to begin a national market within the continent. On the other hand, Luxemburg may be relaxing its strict cannabis policies in a few months. These examples will lay a path for other European nations to kickstart the proposed plans they might have for their cannabis industry.
Regardless of whatever happens within the next eight years, it is safe to say Germany will have a new kind of cannabis policy before the new coalition ends its term. Other European nations may also follow suit.
In the meantime the country's solid medical cannabis program will continue as it is; producing, distributing, importing, and exporting medical cannabis!—till the new reforms are ready.
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