Back in 2018, as part of the coalition agreement between political parties (Accord de coalition 2018-2023), the Luxembourg government committed to drafting legislation on recreational cannabis. Owing to the COVID-19 situation, the project was put on hold for some time, and recently came back into the parliamentary discussions. In this regard, the Luxembourg government recently issued some clarification regarding its future draft bill.
The cultivation of cannabis at home will be allowed for adults
It is proposed that adults (i.e. 18+ years) will be able to legally grow up to four cannabis plants per household (and not per adult) from seeds, for personal consumption. There are no plans to limit the amount of cannabis seeds that a person of legal age may acquire and possess, nor are there any plans to provide for thresholds for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (delta-9-THC-2-carboxylic acid) (“THC“) levels within the seeds. It should be possible to buy the seeds in stores anywhere (in Luxembourg, abroad and/or online).
Eventually, the plan is to allow domestic production of seeds for commercial purposes. The legal framework applicable to professional producers will require some adaptations in this regard. The prohibition to consume cannabis in a public place should be maintained, as well as any sales of cannabis or derived products (even for free).
Any infringement of the above would be subject to criminal sanctions, yet to be defined and created in Luxembourg law.
Any consumption limited to 3 grams is decriminalized and the criminal procedure is lightened
A decriminalization for the offences of consumption, possession, public transportation, and acquisition of cannabis is foreseen, when the quantity in question is inferior or equal to 3 grams, in the absence of indications of sale or traffic and/or other aggravating circumstances.
It is thus planned to replace the basic criminal fine of €251 to €2,500 currently in force with a fine of €25 to €500 and the possibility of issuing a simple warning taxed at €145, if and only if the threshold of 3 grams is not exceeded. Payment of the simple warning and handing over the cannabis to the police authorities issuing the simple warning for destruction would automatically put an end to criminal proceedings. Above the 3 grams threshold, the offender is considered a drug trafficker. In such a case, the police authorities will not be able to issue a simple warning, and regular criminal proceedings will enter into play.
Road traffic legislation remains unchanged
As far as road traffic legislation is concerned, no changes are currently proposed. The threshold limit (1ng/mL THC) is maintained. Criminal sanctions are maintained.
Legislative changes are envisaged
It is proposed to adapt the current legal framework, in particular the amended law of 19 February 1973 concerning the sale of medicinal substances and the fight against drug addiction. Similarly, the legislation on commercial agricultural and horticultural production will require to be amended to make seed production legal within the national territory.
The Luxembourg government emphasized that the political approach is to proceed on a step by step basis, so as to put in place a different approach to recreational cannabis, pending the finalization of the new legislation. The recreational cannabis project is integrated into larger measures to fight against drug-related crime. Six Ministries – Justice, Health, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Economy and Finance – will have to cooperate to develop the draft bill.
The legislative timeline is still unclear at this point
The timetable for adoption of the draft bill has slowed due to the health crisis and as a result, no official date has been set.