Original Plan and Subsequent Delays - Article in English: https://cannabis-startups.com/time-is-ticking-germanys-crucial-countdown-to-cannabis-legalization/
Originally, the German Bundestag was supposed to finalize the Cannabis Act (CanG) on November 16, 2023, effective from January 1, 2024. However, a series of delays have shifted this schedule. The new plan currently envisages a reclassification and permission for personal cultivation by April 1, followed by cannabis clubs by July 1.
Political Developments and Statements:
- October 10: Dirk Heidenblut and Carmen Wegge announced on Instagram that due to the global political situation and in solidarity with Israel, the first reading in the Bundestag was postponed by one week, with the original schedule for the second and third readings on November 16 being maintained.
- October 11: Kirsten Kappert-Gonther announced a revised schedule and confirmed the first reading in the coming week as well as the concluding readings on November 16.
- November 10: Kappert-Gonther expressed optimism regarding the progress of the law, but acknowledged the need for further revisions and hinted at a completion in December.
- November 16: The concluding readings did not take place as planned.
By early December, it became clear that the Bundestag would not pass the CanG in 2023. The leaders of the SPD faction have assured that the law will be enacted in early 2024. Internal debates within the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) have surfaced, indicating ongoing controversies regarding the content of the law.
Central Point of Contention and Industry Concerns:
The main controversy revolves around the 'intoxication clause' and the THC limit for hemp products. Industry representatives are advocating for the elimination of this clause and debating an increase of the THC limit for industrial hemp to 1%. The current delay poses a dilemma: A rushed law could show significant deficiencies, but a longer consultation could lose momentum and affect Germany's position in the European cannabis market.
Perspectives within the Industry:
- The Argument for Precision: Some advocate taking the necessary time to refine the law, emphasizing the need for a well-thought-out legal framework to ensure the growth of the German cannabis industry and its competitiveness in Europe.
- The Urgency of Adoption: Others favor a quick enactment of the law and place immediate consumer protection and market stability at the forefront. They suggest addressing flaws through subsequent amendments.
The German debate on cannabis legalization is a classic case of precision versus urgency. The industry and politicians are faced with the challenge of balancing these competing priorities to ensure a progressive, but pragmatic path forward.