Berlin, 10/18/2023: The Bundestag has debated the planned Cannabis Act (CanG, Drs. 20/8704) for the first time. This is intended to remove cannabis from the Narcotics Act (BtMG) and make self-supply (private cultivation and cultivation associations) legal. The possession of small quantities is to be decriminalized. Overall, the BvCW believes this represents an overdue paradigm shift in policy towards cannabis.
After the first reading that has just taken place, the cannabis industry is pleased with the announcement of the expert politicians to implement significant improvements in the bill. These included: Dr. Kirsten Kappert-Gonther (B90/The Greens), Kristine Lütke (FDP), Linda Heitmann (B90/The Greens), the Federal Government Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues, Burkhard Blienert (SPD), Dirk Heidenblut (SPD) or Carmen Wegge (SPD).
Important points were addressed on the subject of industrial hemp, medical supply of cannabis, practicability (e.g. distance and control regulations both for medical consumption and for consumption for pleasure).
Proposals for improvement from the opposition are also pleasing for the cannabis industry. In the area of medical cannabis, Simone Borchardt (CDU) called for the abolition of the approval requirement for reimbursement of therapy or the strengthening of the therapeutic sovereignty of physicians. Ates Gürpinar (The Left), for example, pointed to the health benefits of oral consumption via so-called “edibles” (foodstuffs containing THC).
The cannabis economy is thrilled about the upcoming progress and would like to compete with the existing, completely uncontrolled black market in the future. For this purpose and for comprehensive health protection (quality controls, etc.), high hopes are pinned on the model projects, for which a separate bill (“Pillar 2”) has been announced in 2024.
The removal of cannabis from the BtMG could, among other things:
- facilitate the prescription and future cultivation of medicinal cannabis.
- improve the framework conditions for business with industrial hemp (commercial hemp), which is considered particularly sustainable.
It is particularly important to the BvCW that the controversial “intoxication clause” is still deleted from the bill. In addition, further practicable adjustments should be made.
Jürgen Neumeyer, managing director of the BvCW, says: “The law is a good first step towards the necessary legal re-evaluation of cannabis. Until the second reading, it is imperative that the so-called “intoxication clause” against industrial hemp will be removed from the law, then both agriculture and trade could benefit from a secure legal framework. There must be no discrimination against cannabis patients, for example through distance regulations for their medication.
Whoever really wants to fight the black market must give the German cannabis industry the opportunity to be actively involved in the announced model projects (“Pillar 2″) at the latest.”
Dirk Heitepriem, BvCW vice president and departmental coordinator of recreational cannabis regulation, emphasizes: “It is important that this law is passed in time so that cannabis is finally removed from the Narcotics Act. We as the cannabis industry want to support the fight against the black market and offer our professional help to all parties involved.”
According to plans of the Bundestag, the last necessary reform efforts should be taken into account until the adoption (2nd & 3rd reading) in the Bundestag on 16.11.2023 and the Cannabis Act should come into force on 01.01.2024. The BvCW wishes the parliamentarians much courage and strength in optimizing the upcoming law in this short time.
Further documents of the German Cannabis Business Association on the regulatory discussion of cannabis for human consumption:
ELEMENTE Volume 36: Statement Cabinet Decision CanG
ELEMENTE Volume 35: Position Paper Cultivation Clubs
ELEMENTE Volume 32: Statement on the draft bill CanG
ELEMENTE Volume 29: Position Paper on Licensed Points of Sale (Specialty Shops)
ELEMENTE Volume 28: Position paper on quality requirements for cannabis for human consumption
ELEMENTE Volume 27: Position paper on self-cultivation of cannabis as recreational product
ELEMENTE Volume 26: Position Paper Track & Trace
ELEMENTE Volume 25: Synopsis of association position papers
ELEMENTE Volume 24: Position Paper on Supply Chains and Production Conditions
ELEMENTE Volume 23: Position Paper on Prevention & Risk Minimization
ELEMENTE Volume 22: Cannabis regulation – collection of mistakes and lessons learned from other countries
ELEMENTE Volume 21: Why it is practically impossible for industrial hemp to be misused for intoxication purposes
ELEMENTE Volume 20: Cornerstone paper on recreational cannabis regulation – Towards a German cannabis agenda
An overview of the ELEMENTE series of publications can be found here.