Luxembourg joined the short list of nations that have implemented a national, adult-use cannabis legalization law that is not based on a low-THC model. The only other nations to do so prior to Luxembourg are Uruguay, Canada, and Malta.
Compared to its predecessors, Luxembourg’s legalization model is more limited. First and foremost, there is no commerce component to Luxembourg’s new adult-use cannabis law. All sales are still strictly prohibited.
What is now legal in Luxembourg as of late this week is for adults to possess up to three grams of cannabis and to cultivate up to four plants in a secure location within their private residence. Home cultivation, and presumably gifting between adults, are the only legal ways to obtain cannabis in Luxembourg.
The only other country in Europe right now to explicitly allow such activity to occur is Malta. Malta passed an adult-use legalization measure in late 2021, and while the cannabis club provision of the law has yet to materialize, eventually noncommercial cannabis clubs will be allowed in Malta, unlike in Luxembourg.
Additionally, Malta permits adults to possess up to 50 grams of cannabis in their home, and 7 grams while away from their home, which is considerably more than what is now allowed in Luxembourg. Adults in Malta are also allowed to cultivate up to 4 plants in their private residences, versus the 3 plant limit in Luxembourg.
Before Luxembourg implemented its legalization model, Malta was easily the most restrictive legal nation on earth. Comparatively, Canada has the most robust legalization model on earth, followed by Uruguay. Both nations permit nationwide possession, sales, and cultivation, however, Uruguay limits legal sales to residents.
The elephant in the legalization room is still Germany, which continues to trend toward passing its own national legalization law. Once that happens it will likely open up the floodgates in Europe and beyond to varying forms of legalization.
Not too long ago, what legalization ‘looked like’ in the minds of many cannabis enthusiasts was much more uniform than what is actually playing out in reality. It may be a while before we see two countries with identical cannabis legalization models, and for that matter, we may never see two countries with carbon-copy national cannabis policies. Only time will tell.
For now, Luxembourg’s law is worthy of celebration, as long as people keep it in the proper context.
This article first appeared on Internationalcbc.com and is syndicated here with special permission.