Germany on the Verge of Recreational Cannabis Legalization

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Approval of legislation this week would allow cannabis possession to begin within months.

February 23, 2024, marks the day cannabis legislation is predicted to be approved in Germany (1). The legislation will need to be passed by the lower house of the German parliament, and the law would officially begin on April 1 of this year (1). Adults in Germany would be allowed to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis, grow three plants for personal use, and, starting in July, participate in special cultivation clubs limited to 500 members each (1,2). Adults between ages 18 and 21 would be allowed to buy cannabis containing up to 10% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the clubs, though people under 18 would still be banned from possessing cannabis (2).

Last year, neighboring Luxembourg passed its own, more stringent cannabis legislation: the sale and possession of cannabis remains illegal, unless cultivated and consumed at home (1).


Supporters of Germany's new legislation point to the negative effects of the current illegal cannabis market as part of the rationale for the new law (1). “The likelihood that the black market for cannabis will significantly shrink is very high,” explained Health Minister and prominent supporter of the legislation Karl Lauterbach earlier this week (1). “I believe we are making an important step away from a failed cannabis policy,” he added (1,2).

But the legislation is still facing opposition from within. Earlier this week some politicians repeated their ongoing concerns of what the law will not accomplish, including relieving burdens on law enforcement and protecting youth (1).

Limited medical cannabis use has been legal in the country for several years, and Germany currently has a 1.3 million square foot complex that produces one ton of cannabis annually (2). One prediction has the legal recreational market reaching $4.2 billion (2).

Follow the progression of cannabis legalization in Germany, from initial legislation to internal criticism, plus how it’s perceived as a potential cannabis tourism location.


  1. Widiyanti, Y. Germany to approve cannabis bill this week in Legalisation Drive (accessed Feb 22, 2024).
  2. Rodriguez, C. Germany’s new cannabis law to pass this week and take effect in April (accessed Feb 22, 2024).