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Germany Approves First Cultivation Association as Patchwork of Applications Roll In

Written by Ben Stevens and Alex Khourdaji

On July 01, the next phase of Pillar 1 of Germany’s CanG project got underway, seeing states open up the application process for cultivation associations.

To date, 10 German federal states have reported that a total of around 65 applications for cultivation associations have now been officially received, according to publicly available data.

The northern state of Lower Saxony, which has the second largest number of applications submitted so far, has now become the first and only state to approve an application.

Despite the growing number of applications, participants and politicians alike are still calling for the complex and cumbersome process to be streamlined.


Federal State Number of Applications Source Date Number of Permits
Baden-Württemberg 20 09/07/2024
Bavaria 7 02/07/2024
Berlin 1 06/07/2024
Brandenburg 0 02/07/2024
Bremen 0 09/07/2024
Hamburg 5 08/07/2024
Hesse 2 06/07/2024
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 0 04/07/2024
Lower Saxony 16 08/07/2024 1 in Oldenburg
North Rhine-Westphalia >5 03/07/2024
Rhineland-Palatinate 4 07/07/2024
Saarland 6 09/07/2024
Saxony N/A
Saxony-Anhalt N/A
Schleswig-Holstein N/A
Thuringia 1 08/07/2024

Baden-Württemberg has so far received the most applications, according to the Regional Council (RP) in Freiburg, which is responsible for issuing cultivation licenses in the region.

Since July 01, there have been eight applications in the Freiburg administrative district, six from Karlsruhe, four from Stuttgart and two from Tübingen.

According to the Lower Saxony Ministry of Agriculture, 16 applications have now been received from the cities of Hanover, Osnabrück, Oldenburg, Braunschweig and Emden as well as from the districts of Harburg, Uelzen, Friesland, Emsland, Oldenburg, Wesermarsch, Peine, Vechta, Lüchow-Dannenberg, Cuxhaven and the Hanover region.

Agriculture Minister Miriam Staudte granted the country’s first permit to the ‘Cannabis Social Club Ganderkesee’ in Oldenburg.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the first applications have been received in the Düsseldorf administrative district, but the authority is not yet able to give a specific number. The Cologne district government had received three applications by Tuesday, and one in Detmold.

The Arnsberg district government initially received ‘three incomplete applications’ a spokeswoman said, while the Münster district government initially did not record a single application.



Figures are based on information made publicly available at the time of writing.


In Saarland six clubs have so far applied, according to the Ministry of the Environment, which is responsible for the cultivation permits. However, it is unlikely that any of these will be approved in the near future.

The state’s ministry has stipulated that it will only process applications when all the documents and evidence listed in the government’s cannabis law have been ‘completely submitted’, including the appointment of a trained prevention officer. Training will reportedly not be offered in Saarland until at least August.

Associations across the states have complained about the excessive red tape involved in the application process. Shortly before July 01, the federal government announced that the states would be given the powers to largely set their own regulations for cannabis cultivation associations.

This allocation of responsibility took many state governments by surprise, and has meant some have formulated regulations much more quickly than others, and has opened the door for some states to impose even stricter requirements on applicants.

Bavarian State Chancellery Chief Florian Herrmann (CSU) said: “We already regulated some time ago by ordinance that no more than one cultivation association per district or independent city and 6,000 inhabitants is possible…Bavaria is committed to protecting people from the health risks of consuming cannabis. We will stick to this course – that is why we are implementing the law as restrictively as possible.”


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