Germany’s health minister Karl Lauterbach has confirmed the coalition government’s plan to legalise adult-use cannabis will not include recreational imports from other countries.

At a press conference in Berlin yesterday, Lauterbach outlined changes to the preliminary plan leaked last week by RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland media network.

The number of plants allowed for home grow increased from two to three, while the 15% restriction on THC content included in the earlier paper was dropped, with limits only applying to 18 to 21-year-olds.

However, the plan retains the insistence that demand can be met via domestic production, scuppering hopes that the new rules would open up an export opportunity for Australian and New Zealand companies.

Under the scheme, approved by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet, adult possession of 20 to 30 grams of cannabis would no longer be a criminal offence.

Cannabis would be sold in licensed shops and possibly in pharmacies.

Lauterbach said: “If this law comes to pass, it would be the most liberal project to legalise cannabis in Europe, but also the most regulated market. It could be a model for Europe.”

Addressing fears that the plan may violate European Union and international laws curbing the drug trade, the minister said it would be sent to the European Commission for a preliminary review before next steps are taken. 

“If this preliminary examination clearly showed that this path would not be viable for the European Commission, then we would not develop a bill on this basis,” he added.

Depending on the outcome of the review, draft legislation could be ready by Q1, 2023 with a potential start date the following year.

Writing on LinkedIn, Foliumed founder and CEO Oliver Zugel said: “Only if the EU Commission sides with the German Government on their interpretation of conformity with international treaties will the position paper be turned into draft law, otherwise all could be back to square one… [There’s] still a long way to go to solve the puzzle.”

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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