There is uncertainty regarding natural gas supplies and European member state rules that forbid the importation of recreational cannabis.
Nevertheless, Germany has committed to its legalization plans. Even going as far as California to meet with industry stakeholders and dispensary owners.
Germany’s Legalization Plans Informed by California?
German’s Health Committee visited Oakland last week to discuss “best practices” as part of Germany’s legalization plans.
Germany’s federal drug czar Burkhard Blienert was among the attendees.
Tweets from the event include German officials examining “products of dispensaries with equity licenses,” indicating the direction Germany will take.
With talk of “public health,” Germany’s legalization plans will likely mirror Canada’s strict top-down regime. Instead of the organic, bottom-up approach that made “Cali Weed” a household name.
But like how Canada actively undermines its BC Bud community, so too does California over-regulate its legacy market.
Miscommunication with Tilray
Earlier this month, German officials met with the Canadian cannabis company Tilray. In a press release, Tilray said the meeting was part of an ongoing process to prepare for recreational sales in Germany.
A spokesperson from the German government disagreed. They said it was a “one-time conversation” and “not part of the preparatory phase.”
It’s possible Tilray was telling the truth, and German officials don’t want this information public just yet. Currently, European Union laws prevent a company like Tilray from supplying Germany with recreational cannabis.
It’s a problem all European countries are facing.
“We now have all these EU member states getting together saying, look, if we want to legalize cannabis on a recreational basis, we really have to think about how we’re going to do it,” says Jason Wilson, cannabis research and banking expert at ETF Managers Group (ETFMG).
Does that mean changing the EU laws prohibiting importation?
“They [Germany] can legalize but it’s going to take a while to get the infrastructure in place. Unless they import.”
Which would require changing current EU laws.
Germany’s Legalization Plans: Legal Weed When?
Germany’s legalization plans include recreational cannabis by 2023.
“I think it’s going to take longer,” says Wilson. “In fact, I believe the federal drug commissioner in Germany has suggest 2024 is more likely.”
Part of the issue is the EU laws. “But the momentum is there,” says Wilson, “For them to actually move forward with this, it’s going to start adding to the momentum that we see in Italy, that we see in France, that we’re seeing in the UK.”
“We saw Malta, has come up a program to legalize recreationally use. We saw in Italy there was a referendum, court struck that down, based on the fact that what was proposed would be in violation of the EU laws.”
“Notwithstanding all the talk of natural gas prices or the war in Europe, it [legalizing cannabis] seems front and centre on the agenda,” says Wilson.
In the meantime, German lawmakers visiting California’s shops is a good sign. While “public health” may take priority, Germany’s legalization plans may be more tourist and small-business friendly than Canada’s legal regime.