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Thursday 13, April

Cannabis social clubs: Germany lays out plans for legalisation of weed

Rather than through shops and pharmacies, Germany will regulate the supply of legal marijuana through cannabis social clubs.

New plans are growing in Germany. Photo: IMAGO / Cavan Images

Thursday 13, April

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Introducing cannabis social clubs: Germany lays out plans for legalisation of weed

On Wednesday, Germany’s health minster Karl Lauterbach set out a detailed plan for the partial legalisation of cannabis — and it looks like the widespread sale of marijuana in shops and pharmacies won’t be allowed, at least at first.

Instead, the country is opting for a plan that’s already been pioneered in Spain, whereby the distribution of cannabis will be allowed through so-called “cannabis social clubs”, Each club will be limited to 500 members, all of whom must live in Germany.

So, what are the rules?

  • The consumption of cannabis will become legal this year.
  • Possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis will not be punished.
  • You’ll be allowed to cultivate a maximum of three female flowering plants.
  • Non-profit cannabis social clubs are allowed to cultivate cannabis and distribute it to their members, who must be of legal age.
  • The clubs aren’t allowed to advertise and must also appoint “youth protection, addiction and prevention officers”.
  • If you’re under 21, you’re limited to a maximum consumption of 30 grams per month — and there will also be an upper limit on the level of THC.
  • Consumption is not permitted in the social club rooms, serving alcohol is prohibited, and the clubs must also have a minimum distance from schools and daycare centres.
  • Smoking cannabis in pedestrian centres will be prohibited before 20:00.
  • Previous convictions for possession or cultivation of up to 25 grams will be erased from Germany’s central registry upon request.

According to Lauterbach, the decision to limit the distribution of cannabis to the social clubs was made in order to comply with ongoing talks with the EU, adding that any widening of the scheme should be in line with wider European policy.