By Luke Sumpter

Germany has made some crucial steps towards cannabis legalisation in the past few years. From allowing the first Germans to grow weed at home to the Green Party’s new drug policy, it seems like only a matter of time until the herbal floodgates burst open.

The return of the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) will surely add more fuel to the fire and help to maintain the momentum. Also known as “Planet Earth’s premier cannabis networking event”, the conference revolves around a topic that every government in the world values the most: The economy.

Not only does cannabis legalisation assist medical patients and offer freedom to recreational users, but it also proves time and time again to have an anabolic effect on the economy.

Take Colorado, for instance, where in 2019, the state collected an enormous $302 million in taxes from medical and recreational cannabis sales.

So, what exactly does the future of cannabis legalisation look like in Germany? And how did the country get to this point?

The ICBC Heads to Berlin

The inevitable economic impact of cannabis legalisation means companies are ready to pounce at the eventual opportunity. But for now, many businesses, both large scale and artisanal, are making waves in the hemp and CBD space.

The ICBC will return to Berlin during August 2021 and serve as a hotspot for networking among the cannabis business world. The event brings together policymakers, investors, entrepreneurs, extract experts, edible crafters, and more.

But money aside, the event also offers profound educational insights. For example, Raphael Mechoulam—the man who discovered THC— talked there in 2019.

This year, the ICBC will kick off at Vienna House Andel’s Berlin, before heading to other European countries later in the year. Check out the two main events happening in August 2021 below.

The ICBC Heads to Berlin
Raphael Mechoulam / Source: ICBC
  • Global Investment Forum

The ICBC Global Investment Forum will take place on 25th August 2021. This event seeks to facilitate cannabis industry growth and serves as a powerful network that links cannabis entrepreneurs with investors.

This year, as the world starts to recover from the pandemic, the event features a maximum capacity of 200 people. The schedule for this event includes the following speeches:

  • Overview of the German Market: A panel of successful German cannabis entrepreneurs will discuss the factors that will dominate market growth and how the market may change in the next five years.
  • The truth from the trenches of the industry: A guide that will help entrepreneurs navigate the market and develop their business
  • Regulatory: Learn how to operate in the industry within regulatory frameworks
  • Successful investors: Learn from pioneering investors about incentives that help to fuel cannabis projects
  • Pitches: A wide array of companies will attempt to sell their unique ideas

  • B2B Trade Show

The ICBC B2B Trade Show will also take place at Vienna House Andel’s Berlin. This world-class networking opportunity will unfold during August 26th-27th and serve as a platform for executives, entrepreneurs, and policymakers from over 60 countries.

The B2B Trade Show gives businesses a chance to showcase their ideas, products, and brand to potential investors and other members of the business world. As well as plunging cannabis entrepreneurs into a valuable network, the B2B Trade Show will also feature a series of interesting speeches, including:

  • Germany and Europe Medical Cannabis Regulations Update
  • State of Germany’s Cannabis Market
  • Focus on the Cannabis Pharmacy
  • German Distribution and Import and Sales
  • European CBD Industry and Policy Update
  • Understanding Novel Food
  • Germany and Europe Medical Cannabis Regulations Update
  • Doing Business Internationally
  • Emerging Markets
  • Medical Cannabis Education
  • Road to Legalisation
  • Cannabis Technology
  • Marketing and Media
B2B Trade Show
Source: ICBC

Cannabis Legalisation: Mixed Feelings in Germany

Big things are happening in the business world in Germany when it comes to cannabis. Although the CBD and hemp markets are booming, one gets the sense of a compressed spring when looking at events such as the ICBC. If and when Germany pulls the trigger to fully legalise cannabis, that spring will surely explode and many economic benefits will follow.

However, Germany has already taken some important steps towards cannabis legalisation. Before we get into some of these interesting developments, let’s find out exactly what the German people think about all of this.

Approximately 4 million German citizens currently use cannabis. But not everyone agrees that the nation should legalise weed.

According to a survey conducted by the German research institute Civey, around 43% of Germans believe cannabis should only be legal for medical use. In contrast, around 36% agree that cannabis should be legal, taxed, and regulated. Despite the pattern of legalisation across the world, 12% believe cannabis should remain illegal in the country.

Current Laws

Cannabis remains illegal in Germany. The herb autumns under the classification of an Appendix III drug in the country’s Narcotics Act.

  • Possession

It is illegal to possess any prohibited drug in Germany, including cannabis. Those found guilty may face charges of up to €25,000 and up to two years in prison. However, there are some loopholes in the legislation.

Paragraph 31 of the 1992 reformed Narcotics Law state that those in possession of a “small amount” of cannabis can avoid prosecution. But this vague quantity changes from state to state. For example, Bavaria and Saxony tolerate amounts up to 6 grams, whereas Berlin allows up to 15 grams.

  • Growing

Cannabis cultivation remains illegal in Germany. Although thousands of growers carry out their hobby off the radar, the punishment for doing so can result in a maximum jail sentence of 15 years under the worst circumstances.

  • Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis became legal in Germany in March 2017. Every doctor in the country can prescribe cannabis-based medicines[1], including cannabis flowers, extracts, and individual cannabinoids. Such products include Sativex, a blend of THC and CBD, used to treat spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.

Current Laws

Promising Developments

As things stand, the German laws view cannabis as a non-marketable narcotic. Cultivation is subject to strict authorisation. The German government has awarded cultivation licences to three companies—two Canadian and one German—in 2019. Together, they were granted the ability to produce over 10,000kg over a four year period.

Licenced growers pass on their harvest to the Cannabis Agency, who then resell medical calls to wholesalers, pharmacies, and other drug manufacturers.

However, a court case caused a glitch in this matrix back in 2012. Back then, the Federal Administrative Court in Munster passed a ruling to allow severely ill people in Germany to grow cannabis at home.

But the ruling also stated that requests for personal cultivation are only acceptable when patients lack an affordable treatment option. Applications are often rejected if a person’s insurance covers them for cannabis-based medicines such as dronabinol.

A Bump in the Road

Although the court ruling in 2012 seemed like a step in the right direction, not much has changed since medical legalisation in 2017. A glimmer of hope appeared in 2020 as the German government voted on a bill looking to legalise recreational cannabis.

However, this attempt at reform fell flat. Even though the bill called for a strictly controlled adult-use cannabis market, the vast majority of seats in the Bundestag voted against the changes.

The Green Party Backs the Green

Despite the disappointment experienced in 2020, the aptly named Green Party has reignited the effort to legalise cannabis in Germany. Annalena Baerbock was elected as the Green Party candidate for chancellor on April 19th.

One day later, as though by an act of fate, the Green Party announced a campaign aimed at cannabis reform on 4/20. Their new drug policy wants to change how German citizens access cannabis. It speaks of protecting people’s right to self-determination while also reducing health risks.

Overall, the policy will enable adults to purchase and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis or grow three plants for personal use. If implemented, the policy would create a huge step forward for legal cannabis in the country. Many companies, including those that often appear at the ICBC, will surely welcome these liberal changes.

External Resources:
  1. Medical cannabis policy and practice in Germany
This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

Are you aged 18 or over?

The content on is only suitable for adults and is reserved for those of legal age.

Ensure you are aware of the laws of your country.

By clicking ENTER, you confirm
you are
18 years or older