Outside of North America, Germany has the third-largest market in the world for legal cannabis products. Doctor-prescribed medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2017, and around 60,000 patients have received prescriptions to use the compound. In many cases, the costs are covered through a citizen’s insurance company.
The way Germany has handled cannabis is often held up as a model for other EU nations, although not unlike the rest of the world, standardization is pretty much non-existent. And similar to the U.S., cannabis law is a gray area. While adult and recreational use are illegal in the country of 83 million, the penalties for possessing cannabis are different depending upon which German state you are in.
Enforcement for possession isn’t common even though the German Federal Narcotics Act deems it an offense. Technically, those found guilty can spend up to five years in prison, but unless trafficking is the intent and can be proven, even this is rare.
Punishable amounts of cannabis vary from six grams in most places and up to 15 grams in Berlin. Interestingly, the actual consumption of cannabis is not explicitly prohibited, so enforcement consists of a “treatment vs. punishment” approach.
Is CBD Legal in Germany?
Growing hemp has been legal in Germany since 1996, after a brief 14-year prohibition that did not last due to heavy protesting. CBD products are legal to buy and sell, but under EU law, the legal limit for THC in those products is 0.2 percent. Because of this, THC-free products are a popular option.
If you live in Germany and wish to purchase CBD oil, it’s probably best to check the THC content in the products you are purchasing. Especially since U.S. brands can legally sell CBD containing up to 0.3% THC.
There is a loophole in this rule, however. Those who wish to purchase CBD oil with higher amounts of THC than the standard 0.2 percent can do so at a pharmacy with a prescription from their physician. As of January 2020, pharmacists are equipped with kits that allow them to compound their own CBD oils for qualified patients.
While it’s a pretty simple process procuring CBD goods from shops in Germany, some of the rules are a bit murky. For example, the sale and purchase of dried hemp flowers is prohibited because it is unprocessed, so always be sure to check your local laws before purchasing CBD products.