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Belgium’s Cannabis Legalization Effort Receives A Big Endorsement

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Belgium Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy and Employment Pierre-Yves Dermagne recently endorsed modernizing his nation’s cannabis policies to permit adult-use cannabis, stating that his country “must end the hypocrisy.”

“There is no point in using state resources to combat cannabis,” the deputy prime minister stated according to domestic reporting, adding that “there are types of crimes that are far more serious and have a far greater impact on societal life.”

Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne also added that he supports regulating cannabis production and sales and that such activity should be taxed. He did not provide granular details regarding what an industry model should look like, what the tax rate should be, or what regulations would be involved.

The minister’s expressed support for adult-use legalization comes amidst a concerted push for cannabis policy modernization in Europe. Belgium’s neighbor, Luxembourg, recently passed a limited adult-use legalization measure. Luxembourg’s measure permits the legal cultivation, possession, and consumption of cannabis by adults of legal age.

Belgium’s neighbor to the East, Germany, is in the process of passing a national adult-use legalization measure, with the nation’s federal cabinet having already approved a measure championed by German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. The measure is expected to evolve as it is considered by domestic lawmakers.

The measure that was approved by Germany’s cabinet would permit adult consumers to cultivate, possess, and consume cannabis, as well as permit noncommercial cannabis clubs that would have to adhere to a multitude of proposed regulations. Malta was the first European country to pass a national legalization measure and noncommercial cannabis clubs are expected to launch soon.

Unlike the previously mentioned nations, Belgium’s legalization effort is still largely taking shape, and the support expressed by Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne will bolster domestic reform efforts.

Lawmakers will have to consider a number of provisions, including but not limited to possession limits, cultivation limits, whether to permit noncommercial clubs, and/or whether to launch regional adult-use commerce pilot programs.

According to German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, the European Union will not permit national sales, such as what is already implemented in Canada. It’s one more layer to the legalization process that lawmakers in Belgium will have to consider and navigate.