Berlin, 08/16/2023: Federal Minister of Health Prof. Dr. Karl Lauterbach (SPD) today presented the revised draft for a Cannabis Act (CanG). More than 50 comments were received on the previously published first draft, on the basis of which the Federal Ministry of Health produced a revised version, which was approved by the Federal Cabinet today. In the upcoming parliamentary consultation process, the BvCW hopes for further important and practicable improvements.
Jürgen Neumeyer, managing director of the BvCW, explains in a first assessment:
“The removal of cannabis from the Narcotics Act is a meaningful signal of a changed approach to cannabis. It is also overdue that users are decriminalized and that there are possibilities to grow cannabis for personal use. We are pleased that we were able to contribute to the removal of the previously planned ban on the extraction of CBD. Now we hope that various aspects can still be improved in the parliamentary process.”
The BvCW continues to adhere to the proposals and criticisms from its statement on the original draft CanG. After a first review, the following points, among others, appear to be worthy of further discussion compared to the draft bill:
- The criterion of the alleged abuse potential of industrial hemp – originally intended for abolition – must be dropped in the future. This “intoxication clause“, which is difficult to understand, has already led to the confiscation of industrial hemp fields and criminal prosecution of many traders for harmless industrial hemp. An independent Industrial Hemp Act (NutzhanfG) still seems to be useful to restore the German competitiveness of farmers and the German industrial hemp industry.
- For the medical cannabis sector, urgent changes are still needed, such as the simplification of domestic cultivation, the strengthening of physicians’ freedom of therapy, the promotion of research, and the improvement of reimbursements.
- The BvCW sees a need for review of the planned sponsorship ban, because, for example, the promotion of professional education, the promotion of research and the organization of professional events and trade fairs, should continue to be possible.
For the cannabis industry, this draft law is the most important reform since the introduction of the regular prescribability of medical cannabis in 2017.
However, in order to decisively push back the black market, the announced “Pillar 2“, with which the economy is to begin the professional provision of high-quality pleasure cannabis products within the framework of model projects, must be tackled as quickly as possible.
In fact, the implementation of “Pillar 3“, a comprehensive legal control of the market, would also have to be started. To this end, the German government should already start building a “coalition of the willing in the EU“. There are some European states that are seeking a turnaround in drug policy to include health protection and control over quality and money flows.
The cannabis industry will continue to constructively support the upcoming discussions.
Press release from the German Federal Ministry of Health, Aug. 16, 2023: Link
New draft of the cannabis law: Link
2-pillar model of the federal government: Link
Key points paper of the federal government: Link
Video of today’s press conference: Link
Further documents from the cannabis industry on the regulatory discussion of stimulant cannabis:
ELEMENTE Band 32: Statement on the draft bill CanG
ELEMENTE Band 29: Position Paper on Licensed Points of Sale (Specialty Shops)
ELEMENTE Band 28: Position paper on quality requirements for cannabis for human consumption
ELEMENTE Band 27: Position paper on self-cultivation of cannabis as recreational use
ELEMENTE Band 26: Position Paper Track & Trace
ELEMENTE Band 25: Synopsis of association position papers
ELEMENTE Band 24: Position Paper on Supply Chains and Production Conditions
ELEMENTE Band 23: Position Paper on Prevention & Risk Minimization
ELEMENTE Band 22: Cannabis regulation – collection of mistakes and lessons learned from other countries
ELEMENTE Band 21: Why it is practically impossible that industrial hemp is misused for intoxication purposes
ELEMENTE Band 20: Cornerstone paper on recreational cannabis regulation – Towards a German cannabis agenda
An overview of the ELEMENTE series of publications can be found here.