Proposal will allow adults to cultivate up to 50g and possess up to 25g of cannabis for their own use from April 1

The Bundestag –Germany’s Parliament, similar to the Chamber of Deputies in Brazil– holds a session this Friday (23.Feb.2024) to vote on bill 20/8704 which aims to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the country. Here is the full text (PDF – 1 MB, in German).

Called the Cannabis Law or CanG, the proposal was presented by the German coalition government. The group is known as the Semaphore Coalition and is made up of the center-left party SPD (Social Democratic Party), of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the liberal FDP (Free Democratic Party) and the center-left party the Greens.

If approved, the text must be evaluated by the Bundesrat, equivalent to the Brazilian Senate, from March 22nd. The legislation is expected to come into force by April 1st.

If this is confirmed, Germany will become the 3rd country in the EU (European Union) to legalize the personal cultivation and possession of cannabis for adults for recreational purposes, behind only Malta and Luxembourg.

In the Netherlands, the sale of up to 5g of marijuana is permitted in “coffee shops” for consumption on site. However, cannabis is not legalized in the country, although possession of up to 30g is decriminalized.

In Germany, the regulation of recreational marijuana was one of the big promises of the Traffic Light Coalition. The plan was presented in October 2022, but had to be changed several times. Initially, the proposal dealt with the sale of cannabis. The topic, however, was reviewed because it could violate European Union laws on the subject. The proposal also faced criticism from opposition parties.

On August 16, 2023, the German government announced a draft of the project. However, the text was the subject of disagreements among members of the coalition and had to be changed. Government coalition leaders reached a final agreement on February 1.


Currently, cannabis is considered an illegal substance in Germany and possession is classified as a punishable offense, such as paying a fine or imprisonment of up to 5 years. The use of the plant for medicinal purposes is permitted with a medical prescription.

With CanG, marijuana will be removed from the list of prohibited substances in the German Narcotics Act. In addition, the country will allow, from April 1st, adults aged 18 or over to cultivate up to 50g at home and carry up to 25g of marijuana in public places for their own use.

The law also establishes rules for the non-commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana by government-licensed associations from July 1st. Among them is the prohibition of advertising and any form of sponsorship of associations. The proposal also prohibits members of cultivation associations from providing cannabis to third parties.

According to German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, the proposal aims to reduce the illegal market and crimes related to marijuana. It also aims to reduce the number of users.

“Consumption will remain prohibited for young people and will only be possible to a certain extent for young adults. This restriction is necessary because marijuana is particularly harmful to the developing brain. […] The use of cannabis will be legalized. But he still remains dangerous,” said in a statement released on August 16, 2023.


The German government’s proposal to regulate recreational cannabis was developed on a 2-pillar model. The 1st refers to the Cannabis Law to allow personal use and private and non-commercial cultivation, which will be voted on this Friday (Feb 23).

The 2nd pillar aims to regulate the sale of cannabis by licensed businesses. The initiative is still being developed and a bill on the subject must be presented to the European Commission for consideration.


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