Is Germany ready for the arrival of cannabis clubs?

Paul Krantz
Paul Krantz - [email protected]
Is Germany ready for the arrival of cannabis clubs?
A saleswoman weighs CBD flowers on a scale at the "Mary Jane" hemp trade fair in Berlin. Cannabis clubs will be able to distribute THC flowers soon. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Monika Skolimowska

The second part of Germany's cannabis legalisation law, which allows for the launch of cannabis clubs comes into effect on July 1st. But a number of questions may leave club founders stalled for months.


From July 1st, the next phase of the cannabis law will come into force, which allows for the founding of "cannabis clubs" in Germany.

But the law, as it stands, is creating more questions than answers for many cannabis club founders across the country.

Questions around which authorities are responsible for approving clubs or regulating their activities remain.

Investors and club organisers are also unsure how quickly legal approval will be granted, with some speculating that operations may not legally begin until 2025.

Cannabis clubs to open from Monday (in theory)

According to the federal law, cannabis clubs may start their activities as soon as July 1st. 

These regulated associations will be allowed to have up to 500 members each, and will be able to grow and distribute up to 50 grams of cannabis per person per month.

But the reality is that cannabis clubs can submit an application for approval on July 1st, and then must wait for a permit to be granted before they can begin cultivating cannabis.

The health policy spokeswoman for the FDP, Susanne Schneider, criticised what she sees as unnecessary delays to rolling out the new rules. She told the Rheinische Post, "Although applications can be submitted from July 1st, it is completely unclear when permits will be granted and cannabis will actually be available - that could take months," 

According to the cannabis legalisation law, the regulating authorities have a maximum of three months to approve or deny a club’s application. 


But depending on which region a club is in, there are still open questions about how and to whom applications should be submitted.

Cannabis regulation to be governed regionally

Adding to the confusion is the fact that these kinds of regulations are determined by state government agencies in Germany.

According to the law, district governments, state agencies for nature, environment and consumer protection, and the chambers of agriculture will be responsible for monitoring clubs and enforcing rules for cultivation and distribution of cannabis. 

But it’s not clear in every case where a cannabis club organiser should send an application. 

In Brandenburg, applications will be reviewed by the state’s Office for Occupational Safety, Consumer Protection and Health (LAVG), but according to reporting by Berliner Zeitung, the relevant authority in Berlin is still unknown.


Cannabis clubs with up to 500 members may soon cultivate and distribute cannabis in Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire | Nathalie Jamois

Sascha Siebenäuger, Chairman of Sieben25 (a cannabis club to-be), suggests that information has been sparse but he doesn’t blame the authorities. 

Speaking to Berliner Zeitung, Siebenäuger noted that there are no existing models for fair and regulated cannabis distribution in Germany. With that in mind he expected some bumps in the road: "The task of the clubs to come to terms flexibly with the authorities," he said. "The focus is on controlled dispensing whenever it becomes reality."

Due to uncertainties around the process of registering as a club, Siebenäuger hasn’t opened up membership to the general public yet, despite already having a property lined-up where he intends to cultivate cannabis soon.


But these uncertainties haven’t stopped other clubs from accepting paying members who are eager to sign-up ahead of the expected rush.

Some associations in Munich reportedly received thousands of applicants in April, as legalisation was initially coming into effect in Germany.

What do we know about the coming cannabis clubs?

When exactly cannabis clubs will begin operations is still unclear, but a couple things about them are certain.

Firstly, they can have up to 500 members, and can collect membership fees (collected monthly or annually) to fund club activities. Members need to be German residents who are 18 years or older.

Second, these won't be smoking clubs - members will not be allowed to smoke weed on the club premises or within 100 metres of their doors. Instead they can be thought of essentially as farming and distribution clubs.

More information about cannabis clubs is compiled and updated by the German Cannabis Social Clubs Association (CSCD).



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