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Will the German Cannabis Market be Worth $100 Billion in the Next 5 Years?

german cannabis market size

Germany Legalized Recreational Cannabis

The Biggest EU Market For Weed Recently Legalized Weed For Adult Use! What’s Next For Weed In Europe?

Last March, Germany announced that they would be legalizing recreational weed.

Thousands of German residents are relieved that the country has finally legalized adult use marijuana; medical use has been legal since 2017 but the German marijuana market has been plagued with issues. These include extremely strict regulations, access and supply issues. After all, cultivation (as well as possession) of marijuana was illegal, as per the German Federal Narcotics Act. The law only made exceptions for specific and rare circumstances, which added complexity to the legal framework.

Yet, given the sheer size of Germany’s medical marijuana market – with approximately 6.71 million people who were taking cannabis for therapeutic reasons in 2022, one can say that these problems are expected.

And despite having medical marijuana laws, the black market is still prevalent in Germany. Young people and minors always found a way to buy weed off the streets, which was becoming a problem. Other issues they faced, which is common among other countries where recreational use still isn’t legal, include contaminated weed.  

Finally, as of April 1, 2024, Germany became the third European country to legalize weed for recreational use. According to the government, there would be other benefits to legalizing cannabis for personal use, such as tackling the illegal drug trade, minimizing the risk of contaminated weed, and allowing police the resources to go after actual serious crimes.

According to the new law, adults can possess as much as 25 grams of weed for recreational use. In addition, adults are now allowed to grow up to 3 cannabis plants at home. Consumption of weed is restricted to no more than 100 meters of a school or playground entrance, confirms the AP. Furthermore, Germans above the age of 18 will be allowed to join cannabis clubs, which are nonprofit organizations with 500 members maximum. Individuals can only be a member of one cannabis club at a time.

The law also states that marijuana use will still be illegal for minors.

“This is better for real addiction help, prevention for children and young people and for combating the black market, for which there will soon be an alternative,” wrote Germany’s Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach in X.

The government will also be working on amnesty for marijuana-related crimes, since they are no longer considered illegal in the country. This will give those convicted of cannabis crimes in the past a chance to reverse these charges, after being reviewed by the judicial system.

Of course, the legalization is not without criticism, although that is only normal, as we’ve seen in other nations. According to Katja Seidel, who works as a therapist in a marijuana addiction center focusing on young children: “From our point of view, the law as it is written is a disaster,” she told the AFP. The police have also expressed worries that it will be a challenge to enforce the laws. “From April 1, our colleagues will find themselves in situations of conflict with citizens, as uncertainty reigns on both sides,” said GdP police union Vice President, Alexander Poitz.

Biggest EU Market For Legal Weed: What Can Germany Expect On The Economic Side?

Aside from being the third nation in the EU to legalize adult-use cannabis, Germany is now also the biggest legal weed market. The eyes have been on Germany for several years now, especially among those who want a piece of the pie: being the largest cannabis market in the EU also means that businesses and investors can expect to reap generous rewards after legalization.

A few days before April 1st, the decriminalization date, marijuana stocks already began skyrocketing. Out of these companies, Canopy Growth saw the biggest stock price rise, with over 50% year to date, according to Investor Place. “Germany’s reform brings significant advancements in patient access to medical cannabis and a much-needed liberal approach to cannabis that we have advocated in favor of,” said Dirk Heitepriem, the head of Aurora Europe’s external affairs has said.

We can expect the medical marijuana market in Germany to grow like a weed, and in an impressive timescale. That said, there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure that there are improvements made in terms of patient access and supply.

There will also be a growing number of opportunities for equipment, facility rentals, jobs and services, and other ancillary businesses. The growth of the adult-use market itself may be slow to start with, especially because there are financial issues affecting the market, caused by inflation, rising interest rates, and other factors. Thankfully, the German government is supportive of that; the Growth Opportunities Act will support and facilitate capital access, research, and help simplify taxation issues.

There will still be the usual challenges, such as ensuring that the German recreational cannabis laws comply with EU laws as well as international drug treaties. They will have to develop effective regulations to prevent any loopholes when it comes to legal purchases, enforce the laws, work out the logistics, and so on.


This year marks a new era in Germany, though their laws are still stricter than other jurisdictions around the world. Regardless, it’s a start; experts forecast the market to be worth as much as $100 billion come 2030, so we may soon be witnessing the growth of a giant in the MMJ industry in Europe!




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