As it works on a framework to legalize marijuana, Germany is considering a few innovative solutions, including a possible cap on the potency of THC, the drug’s active ingredient.
The country reached an agreement in principle to legalize recreational cannabis last year. Medical marijuana is already available in pharmacies, but how the recreational market will be organized has yet to be determined.
Germany will be setting an example for the rest of Europe and the rest of the globe if this happens. According to marijuana industry research firm BDSA, its pot sales are likely to make for a large portion of the $9.5 billion in international cannabis sales expected by 2026.
At five hearings this month, German government leaders and more than 200 specialists in addiction medicine, law, and other relevant fields discussed the fundamental issues. Health and consumer production are discussed, as well as addiction and control mechanisms such as licensing.
One of the government’s goals, according to Burkhard Blienert, Germany’s commissioner for addiction and narcotics, is to protect young people from adverse impacts.
In the United States, there is rising worry about the potential negative consequences of legalizing cannabis, such as increased access for underage users, who are particularly vulnerable. Legalization has resulted in a desire for more strong marijuana, which now contains far more THC than it did even a few years ago.
This can lead to a harmful cannabis addiction, often known as cannabis use disorder.
Industry representatives are buzzing about the consumer-protection measures being proposed in Germany, according to Bloomwell Chief Executive Officer Niklas Kouparanis, whose company manages the marijuana telemedicine network Algea Care. There’s been debate about putting a THC limit on recreational marijuana and holding it to the same high standards as medicinal marijuana in terms of safety checks and product tracing.
While regulators believe these steps would protect customers, there are fears that limiting the THC limit too low could help illegal cannabis sellers, according to Kouparanis.
In general, I’m not against THC limits, but completely agree they should not be too low, otherwise you’re just shifting the high THC customers to the illicit market, he told me.
On June 30, Germany will hold a second hearing, this time focusing on overseas legalization cases. Some cannabis businesses in California, the world’s largest legal market, have called for bailouts due to black-market competition, and the country may learn from their experiences. Meanwhile, certain attempts to enforce THC limitations in Colorado have been met with criticism.