The dispensing of cannabis for consumption purposes is prohibited in Germany. According to the plans of the new "traffic light" coalition which is forming the government for the actual legislative period, this is now to change.
We can assume that these reforms will allow a new consumption market worth billions to emerge in Germany. We offer cannabis companies and investors comprehensive advice on all matters relating to the cultivation of cannabis as well as the production and distribution of cannabis products in the German market, in particular on:
It is expected that the cultivation of cannabis and the distribution of cannabis products for consumption purposes will take place under strict regulatory requirements. Our Cannabis Sector team understands the current legal and regulatory framework and can assist your cannabis business in meeting the legal requirements to create a reliable foundation for long-term security and growth. In particular, we support cannabis companies with questions around the requirements for granting the relevant licenses as well as options for legal action in the event that the required licenses are not granted.
Market entry / Investing in Germany
The market entry of foreign cannabis companies and investors in Germany as a pioneer in the legalisation of cannabis as a consumption product gives access to the largest economy in the European Union. In addition, further access to other EU markets will be easier from Germany. We provide comprehensive advice to foreign cannabis companies and investors on entering the German market and investing in German cannabis companies.
Corporate / Startups
We advise emerging companies in the cannabis industry on all legal issues relating to business set-up and development, including company formation, cooperation and shareholder agreements, mergers and acquisitions and other management issues.
The development of a new business sector, including obtaining the necessary licenses, acquiring machinery and equipment for the cultivation and harvesting of cannabis as well as the production and distribution of cannabis products, requires additional capital. Our Banking & Finance and Venture Capital teams are experienced in the start-up environment and thus advise the banking side as well as the founder side on all financing instruments. Thus, we can advise cannabis companies on all legal issues around financing, including venture capital investments.
Environmental and Property Law / Agricultural Law / Sustainable Energy Supply
Agricultural cultivation of cannabis for consumption purposes in open fields is expected. This is likely to occur under regulatory conditions and has neighbourhood impacts through seed dispersal. We advise cannabis companies on agricultural and environmental/neighbourhood protection issues during production, harvesting and operation to minimise the risk of neighbourhood disputes and disputes with locally competent authorities, as well as on planning and designing sustainable energy supply concepts.
We advise cannabis companies on all legal issues surrounding the trade of cannabis and cannabis-related services, including drafting purchasing, supply and cooperation agreements as well as employment contracts, contract negotiations and contract review.
Criminal / administrative / civil proceedings
The strict regulation of the dispensing and use of cannabis products for the purpose of consumption is typically accompanied by criminal and administrative consequences for violations of the relevant laws and regulations. We advise cannabis companies in civil and administrative proceedings on all matters relating to potential violations of laws, regulations and product liability, and work closely with experienced criminal law specialists to assist cannabis companies in all aspects of criminal law.
Patents, Trademarks & Co
Industrial and intellectual property rights can give cannabis companies the legal basis to prevent competitors from using their trademarks, their technologies, their designs, or their trade and business secrets. As the cannabis industry in Germany is still in its infancy and only beginning to grow, it is advisable to start protecting trademarks, technologies, recipes, etc. as soon as possible. Industrial property rights not only offer protection against unauthorised use, but also the possibility of licensing - which in turn can generate additional and recurring income.
However, the framework conditions for the participation of companies in the newly emerging market are still largely open. For example, the Federal Government's timetable for the release of cannabis for consumption purposes has not yet been disclosed. It also remains to be observed which requirements domestic and foreign companies will have to fulfil for the legal cultivation and distribution of cannabis for consumption purposes in the German market.
With complex and multifaceted issues arising from a rapidly emerging industry, it is important that companies in this sector have a legal team that understands the cannabis market and can provide focused strategic legal advice.
We are happy to support your business.
Schalast builds on the experience of its international network MULTILAW and works closely with its partner law firms in the respective jurisdictions. Cannabis has already been legalised in 18 US Federal States. In addition, prohibition in Canada was already ended nationwide in 2018.
 Coalition Agreement_2021-2025.pdf (spd.de), p. 87, Drug Policy, "We introduce the controlled supply of cannabis to adults for consumption purposes in licensed shops." (convenience translation)
 "In Germany, there are three licensed producers of medicinal cannabis so far, but only one of them can deliver. So far, the cannabis has to be grown under daylight lamps behind thick concrete walls - for a consumer product, this is ecological and economic nonsense," Georg Wurth, spokesman of the German Hemp Association; see Ampel macht mit Cannabis-Legalisierung ernst - Welche Firmen von der Freigabe profitieren | Wirtschaft (solinger-tageblatt.de) (convenience translation)