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Germany Introduces New Restrictions on Cannabis Use for Drivers and Growers

Berlin, June 07, 2024,The Europe Today: Two months after Germany partially legalized the recreational use of cannabis, the Bundestag, the country’s lower house of parliament, has introduced a maximum THC limit for drivers and imposed restrictions on official growers associations.

Following recommendations from an expert panel commissioned by the Transport Ministry, the maximum level of THC — the active intoxicant in cannabis — in the blood of drivers will be set at 3.5 nanograms per milliliter. This limit is considered equivalent to the risk posed by 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, which is currently legal in Germany.

Additionally, there will be a complete alcohol ban for drivers who have consumed cannabis to prevent the dangers associated with mixing the two substances. A blanket cannabis ban will also be implemented for new drivers.

The opposition conservatives (CDU) had advocated for an absolute ban on cannabis consumption for all drivers, but their proposal was rejected by the parliament.

In parallel with the driving regulations, lawmakers voted to grant federal states more authority to regulate official growers associations (Anbauvereine). These associations, which will be legally permitted to cultivate cannabis starting July 1, will now be subject to regional restrictions on the size of cannabis farms and legal possession limits.

These new measures follow the center-left coalition led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, which passed new cannabis legislation in February after years of debate. This legislation allows German adults to legally possess, purchase, or cultivate marijuana under strict regulations that came into force on April 1.

Under the current law, adults can carry up to 25 grams of marijuana and store no more than 50 grams at home. They are also permitted to cultivate up to three cannabis plants at home.

The Bundestag’s new rules aim to balance the benefits of cannabis legalization with public safety concerns, particularly regarding road safety and controlled cultivation.