Germany's nationwide cannabis legalization close at hand

Party leaders in Germany’s incoming government coalition have reached an agreement to legalize cannabis nationwide. The legalization legislation is expected to be introduced during the upcoming legislative session. As it stands, personal possession of cannabis is decriminalized in Germany, and there is a medical cannabis program in place, but this forthcoming proposal would seek to establish a regulated market for adult-use cannabis.

The governing coalition — comprised of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Greens— said that it will be “introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis for adult-use purposes in licensed shops,” according to a translation of a multi-party working group report first noted by Funke Media and circulated by Der Spiegel.

The so-called “traffic light coalition” is making the case that regulating cannabis sales will help drive out the illicit market. That will be revisited four years post-implementation when a review of the social impact of the reform will be required.

While the lawmakers emphasized that the objective of the reform is not to boost tax revenue for the country, FDP said in its election manifesto that taxing cannabis like cigarettes could generate €1 billion annually.

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