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Week in Review: Germany Legalizes Adult-Use Cannabis

Germany Legalizes Cannabis
PHOTO creativefamily


Week in Review: Germany Legalizes Adult-Use Cannabis

ICYMI: Catch up on the week’s latest news from across the cannabis spectrum.

In this week’s cannabis news round-up, Germany votes to legalize adult-use cannabis;New York gives the green light to home cultivation; Rolling Loud and STIIIZY join forces for a live music event; and Arkansas allows amendments to medicinal cannabis legislation.

Germany Legalizes Cannabis
PHOTO Cezary Piwowarski

Germany Legalizes Adult-Use Cannabis

In a significant milestone for cannabis reform in Germany, the German Bundestag has officially passed the adult-use cannabis legalization bill (CanG) by a decisive vote of 407-226. The measure, led by German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, has been on the cards since 2021 and is expected to be implemented on April 1, 2024.

In the new legislation, adults 21 and older will have the right to cultivate up to three cannabis plants for personal use and possess 25 grams when away from their private residence and 50 grams within the residence. Penalties for possession exceeding the legal thresholds will be treated as administrative violations rather than criminal offenses, sparing offenders from jail time.

The bill also includes provisions for establishing noncommercial cannabis clubs, anticipated to launch as early as July 1, 2024. These membership-based clubs will serve as legal outlets for adult consumers to procure cannabis and will be subject to regulatory oversight.

The legalization of adult-use cannabis marks a significant departure from Germany’s longstanding prohibitionist stance, with cannabis set to be removed from the country’s Narcotics List upon the law’s implementation. This move is expected to facilitate improved access for medical cannabis patients and bolster cannabis research initiatives.

“This is a historic moment in European cannabis policy reform,” says Alex Rogers, CEO of the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC), which has been holding conferences in Germany since 2017. “One of the best aspects of the new policy is that criminal penalties are being drastically reduced for adult cannabis offenses. Cannabis is also coming off the narcotics list, which will give the German medical cannabis program a huge boost”

New York Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Legalization Cannabis Now
PHOTO Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now

New York Gives Green Light to Home Cultivation

The New York State Cannabis Control Board has taken a significant step towards legalizing homegrown cannabis by adopting new rules allowing individuals 21 and older to cultivate their cannabis plants at home. 

The approved regulations, proposed nearly three years after cannabis legalization in the state, also permit retail cannabis store owners to sell starter plants to customers. However, these rules are subject to a 60-day public comment period before they can be finalized. The regulations outline that individuals can grow up to six cannabis plants—three mature and three immature—either on their property or in their residence. Each private residence is limited to six mature and six immature plants, regardless of the number of adult residents. 

Additionally, individuals are allowed to possess up to five pounds of trimmed cannabis flower cultivated on their property. The regulations also address possession limits for cannabis concentrates derived from homegrown plants. While the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act initially stipulated that home cultivation could only begin after the issuance of regulations by the Office of Cannabis Management within 18 months of the first adult-use retail sale, the actual legalization process was delayed. 

This delay aimed to prevent a saturation of the market and ensure the success of licensed retail stores. Despite these efforts, an underground marketplace for cannabis has flourished, prompting intensified enforcement actions by state regulators and law enforcement agencies. Retailers intending to sell starter plants must obtain a nursery dealer registration certificate from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets and adhere to labeling requirements.

Since 2021, only individuals holding medical cannabis prescriptions have been permitted to cultivate cannabis at home. This authorization was granted in October 2022 when regulations came into effect, allowing medical cannabis patients to grow up to three mature plants and three immature plants in their residences. Alternatively, they can designate caregivers to cultivate these plants on their behalf. Under these regulations, medical patients or their caregivers are allowed to possess up to 5 pounds of cultivated cannabis in addition to any plants they grow. Mature plants are defined as those with forming buds, while immature plants can be of any height if they lack visible buds.

However, it remains illegal for patients or caregivers to sell cannabis, seeds, or plants to others. They are, however, permitted to gift up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis to another certified patient or caregiver. Medical practitioners certified to prescribe cannabis can do so for various conditions, including insomnia and anxiety.

The delays in authorizing retail sales and consequently the legalization of home cultivation for personal use, have caused unrest within the industry. This rollout faced further challenges when a coalition of medical cannabis license holders and recreational market hopefuls filed lawsuits to compel the Office of Cannabis Management to open the retail licensing process to all applicants.

PHOTO Leanne Leuterio

Rolling Loud and STIIIZY Join Forces for Exclusive Cannabis Collab at Rolling Loud California 2024

Rolling Loud, the world’s premier hip-hop festival and STIIIZY have announced a groundbreaking collaboration for Rolling Loud California 2024. This partnership marks a significant moment as two iconic brands come together to create an unparalleled experience for hip-hop and cannabis enthusiasts alike.

Scheduled for March 15-17, Rolling Loud California 2024 will feature a special four-piece product line developed by STIIIZY, exclusively for the event. These products will be available at STIIIZY retailers nationwide starting February 23. Among the offerings are premium indoor cannabis strains like “Rockstar Zlushie” and “Rolling Loud OG,” as well as live resin liquid diamond pods and kief-coated, premium indoor cannabis-infused pre-rolls.

As part of the experience, STIIIZY will unveil a massive 40-foot cannabis cultivation replica adjacent to the main stage at Rolling Loud California’s festival grounds. This immersive installation aims to transport attendees into the world of cannabis cultivation while enjoying performances by some of the biggest stars in hip-hop, including ¥$ (Ye + Ty Dolla $ign), Nicki Minaj, Post Malone and Future X Metro Boomin. The experience will also include an interactive photo booth for festivalgoers and an enclosed VIP section for artists, along with limited-edition merch.

Tariq Cherif, co-founder of Rolling Loud, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “Celebrating hip-hop culture is at the heart of this collaboration and we couldn’t think of a greater brand to do it with. The nature of our events and STIIIZY’s world are one in the same. We’re proud to showcase that through this collaboration.”

Set against the backdrop of Hollywood Park, adjacent to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA, Rolling Loud California 2024 is poised to deliver an electrifying celebration of hip-hop culture and cannabis innovation.


Arkansas Allows Amendments to Medicinal Cannabis Legislation

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin has approved a medical cannabis ballot initiative to proceed after making several revisions to the proposed amendment’s language. The initiative seeks to build on Amendment 98 to the Arkansas Constitution, which Arkansans approved in 2016 to legalize cannabis for medicinal use.

This development paves the way for industry stakeholders and patient advocates to kick off signature collection efforts to qualify the measure for the November ballot, with a deadline set for July 5 to gather the required 90,704 signatures from registered voters. 

Bill Paschall, Executive Director of the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association and a member of the group spearheading the proposal, Arkansans for Patient Access, expressed confidence in garnering support for the amendment. 

“We’re confident that Arkansans will respond positively and ultimately vote for the proposed amendment because it will reduce barriers to obtaining a medical cannabis card, eliminate the annual renewal hassle and give patients more product choices,” he said.

The proposed changes aim to enhance accessibility to medical cannabis by allowing home cultivation, expanding eligibility criteria for patient ID cards and eliminating retail restrictions on certain cannabis products. Notable adjustments include authorizing patients and designated caregivers to cultivate up to seven mature and seven younger cannabis plants, broadening the range of healthcare professionals who can certify patients and extending the expiration date for new patient cards from one to three years.

Additionally, the initiative seeks to establish an adult-use cannabis trigger law, enabling adult possession of cannabis in certain circumstances.

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