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Germany’s Cannabis Act: Significant Changes Unveiled in Leaked Reports

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The forthcoming cannabis landscape in Germany is undergoing notable revisions, as leaked reports suggest key amendments to the country's groundbreaking cannabis act. These changes not only impact the impending adult-use rollout but also bear implications for the thriving medical cannabis and hemp industries.

Unofficial reports from local media outlets reveal that the proposed changes are slated to be implemented in two phases. The decriminalization and allowance of home cultivation are set to commence from March/April 2024, followed by the rollout of cultivation associations in July 2024.

Core Amendments

Several core elements of the bill have been subject to modification, including the 200m consumption ban, permissible possession quantities, and crucially, the framework for domestic medical cannabis cultivation.

1. Medical Cannabis Industry Shift

A significant alteration involves the elimination of the tender procedure for medical cannabis cultivation, allowing domestic production without quantity restrictions. This change has been lauded as a considerable advantage for existing players, like Demecan, Aurora, and Tilray, and is anticipated to foster a boom in medical cannabis cultivation within Germany.

2. Hemp Legislation Oversight

While the changes in cannabis regulations have been received positively, concerns arise over the government's failure to address legislation concerning hemp. The refusal to amend the ‘intoxication clause' poses potential challenges for consumable hemp products, with critics suggesting it could deal a severe blow to the industry.

3. Consumption Zones and Possession Limits

Adjustments to consumption zones stipulate that the ban on adult-use cannabis consumption within a specified radius of schools, playgrounds, and cannabis clubs will now be ‘within sight,' reducing the distance to 100m. This regulation extends to medical cannabis patients as well.

Critiques regarding possession limits have led to an increase in the permitted possession of home-grown cannabis at one's residence to 50g. The 25g limit still applies in public spaces, with a two-tiered system in place for offenses.

Future Implications

The overhaul in domestic medical cannabis production procedures signals a potential shift in the global market. However, unresolved issues in hemp legislation underscore the complexities of aligning regulations with industry needs. As Germany navigates these amendments, the impact on the cannabis landscape, both medically and recreationally, remains to be seen. Stay tuned for further developments as these changes progress through the legislative pipeline.