Under the pilot project, there would only be two licensed growers in the country, Source: Crystalweed Cannabis / Unsplash

Luxembourg wants complete control of its marijuana market

Luxembourg wants complete control of its marijuana market

The government plans to legalise cannabis but first – a pilot project to evaluate the effects of legal weed on the black market

Last week, officials in Luxembourg presented a plan to legalise the recreational use of marijuana in the country. The announcement came after Germany’s decision to try a non-profit private club approach to the issue with a decision from mid April.

According to an official statement, the policy proposal in Luxembourg will definitely not come into force during this legislative period, as the Grand Duchy is set to hold parliamentary elections in October.

However, the proposition comes with a very detailed concept for a pilot project, so that the country could try out the supposed effects of marijuana legalisation in a more limited and controlled environment.

The proposition calls for the creation of two state run growers, which should supply a total of 14 distribution points, the only sales outlets in the country. Additionally, according to the pilot project proposition, marijuana should have unique chemical markers so that law enforcement should be able to detect black market cannabis, as imports of the plant will remain prohibited.

Marijuana use will be a ‘behind closed doors’ affair

Importantly, the Luxembourgish government has yet to work out the legal basis for implementing the pilot project and this is why the administration has not committed to any concrete deadlines. However, an interdepartmental working group has released a very detailed plan on what the project should entail.

The main point is that the state should control both the growth and sale of marijuana, with only two licensed growers and 14 sale points in each Luxembourgish canton. Additionally, the use would also be heavily restricted to private homes, with public spaces, bars and specialised cafes all off the table for now.

Moreover, users will be subject to the same regulations like those for tobacco and alcohol, especially for workplace use of non-medical marijuana. The proposition also calls for a zero-tolerance policy for some professions like pilots, law enforcement, surgeons, professional drivers and etc.

Trying to undercut the black market

One of the main reasons Luxembourg is even considering legalising marijuana is to tackle the illegal sale of drugs. Thus, the pilot project aims to provide cheaper and safer cannabis, which can be sold only to residents over the age of 18.

One idea the project puts forward is varying the types of marijuana sold, to meet consumer demand on the legal market. According to authorities, the current average price per gram in Luxembourg for both hashish or herb is around 9.50 euros per gram. Consequently, the price of the legal weed should be lower but not too low, to not encourage reckless consumption.

Furthermore, each person would be limited to around 5 grams per day, while also authorities should find a way to prohibit the sale or free transfer of the product from legal users to minors or non-residents, who would be barred from getting legal marijuana to discourage drug tourism.

Authorities also want to evaluate the project using techniques popularised during the pandemic, namely waste water testing. During the pandemic, healthcare researchers used the technique to track Covid-19 contaminants, but it can also be used to track drug residues.



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