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German lawmakers call for cannabis legalization bill to be expedited

How long is a reasonable amount of time to wait to get permission from the European Union before introducing an adult-use cannabis legalization measure? That is the multi-billion dollar question facing Germany's Health Minister, who made a legalization presentation to Germany's federal cabinet late last month. The presentation to the federal cabinet served as the first true status update of sorts regarding the national legalization effort in Germany. As it currently stands, it is expected that early next year, a legalization bill will be formally introduced in Germany. However, prior to that happening, Germany's government will continue to seek approval from the European Union, a strategy that some German lawmakers are pushing back on via their calls to introduce a measure by the end of this calendar year.

After the results of the 2021 federal election in Germany were finalized, the incoming governing coalition wasted no time in announcing its intent to pursue adult-use legalization. For folks that were in attendance during the 2021 International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Berlin, held mere weeks before the historic election in Germany, the incoming governing coalition's announcement was not entirely surprising. At the 2021 ICBC in Berlin, German lawmakers discussed their intent to legalize cannabis in detail if/when the election results were favorable. As we now know, the election results did indeed prove to be favorable for legalization.

"Waiting is not an option"
Late last week, members from coalition government parties issued a demand that Health Minister Karl Lauterbach no longer wait for approval from the European Union and instead formally introduce the adult-use legalization measure that he previously presented to the federal cabinet.

"Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach must now draw up a draft law for #Legalisierung from #Cannabis and present it promptly – waiting for #EU and remaining inactive is not an option! As the rapporteurs responsible, we are making that clear once again today," stated Kirsten Kappert-Gonther (Greens) on Twitter (translated from German to English). Kirsten Kappert-Gonther was joined in her call for urgency by Kristine Lütke MdB (FDP).

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