Luxembourg’s Minister of Justice Sam Tanson announced in the Chamber of Deputies this week that a draft cannabis legalization bill is on its way, with the Council of Government expected to get its first look at the draft next month.
Even though the draft bill has yet to be introduced, some components of it were made public along with the announcement that the draft bill was looming.
The measure, which if approved would serve as the foundation of Luxembourg’s legalization model, is largely based on citizens’ right to home cultivation, although it seems to be unclear what the plant limit would be.
Furthermore, possession of 3 grams of cannabis or less would no longer result in a criminal penalty, and according to the previously cited local media coverage, ‘fines will be decreased.’ Is it really legalization if there is any fine, no matter how large or small the fine might be?
Delays In Luxembourg
For a time, it appeared that Luxembourg would become the first country in Europe to pass an adult-use legalization measure. However, that designation was ceded to Malta late last year when lawmakers there approved an adult-use legalization bill.
Unlike the only two countries where cannabis is currently legal for adult use (Uruguay and Canada) Malta’s legalization model does not include provisions for legal purchases through storefronts, pharmacies, delivery services, etc.
Rather, Malta’s legalization model is largely non-commercial, relying on private cannabis clubs and home cultivation by which consumers can acquire cannabis.
What Luxembourg’s final legalization model will look like is something that we will all have to wait for. However, if the details that are floating around right now ultimately prove to be the basis of the country’s legalization model, legalization in Luxembourg will prove to be less significant than if the country implemented a legalization model that is more in line with what is being pursued in Germany.
Legalization Effort’s Current Status In Germany
Germany recently announced that it would be speeding up its own timeline for legalization to as early as this summer, and the Bundestag’s budget committee recently issued an ultimatum to the nation’s Health Ministry to submit a passable recreational cannabis bill by the end of the summer or face budgetary consequences.
For a time it seemed unclear whether legalization in Germany would entail home cultivation, however, members of Germany’s current coalition government have indicated in recent weeks that home cultivation is a necessary component of a viable legalization measure.
Whether Luxembourg beats Germany to adult-use legalization or not is largely moot in many ways being that legalization in Germany appears to be just as imminent as in Luxembourg, both countries are expected to legalize home cultivation, and Germany’s legalization model will likely prove to be far more robust compared to Luxembourg’s.
All of that, of course, doesn’t even touch on the potential market size difference between the two nations. Luxembourg has a population of roughly 632,000 people. Germany has a population of roughly 83 million people. Germany also experiences over 10 times the level of tourism that Luxembourg does.
Even if Luxembourg allowed legal sales, which it doesn’t appear that it will, the country’s industry would pale in comparison to Germany’s.