Despite fears that European Union rules could scupper recreational cannabis legalisation in Germany, the country’s finance minister Christian Lindner remains confident it can happen next year.
The 2021 election saw the Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens form a ‘traffic light’ coalition under chancellor Olaf Scholz and announce cannabis would be regulated and sold for adult use in licensed shops.
However, earlier this month, a leaked legal analysis from the German parliament’s research service warned the move could contravene European regulations.
And despite the expert opinion being commissioned by the conservative Christian Democratic Union, which opposes legalisation, some of the concerns were said to be shared in government circles.
However, at a recent FDP event during the state election campaign in Lower Saxony, Lindner told demonstrators holding up signs with hemp leaves and the words “A bag with Christian Lindner” that legalisation would indeed happen next year.
In May 2022, justice minister Marco Buschmann also said he was optimistic a law could be passed by next spring with “the first legal joint” sold in 2023.
The coalition plans to present a draft bill at the end of 2022 or early next year.
Currently, it is illegal for Australian firms to export to adult-use markets, but industry watchers have identified Germany as a big opportunity if the situation changes.