Germany The Biggest Economy in Europe, Moves to Legalize Weed: A lesson for Nigeria.

The cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of goods manufactured from the cannabis plant all fall under the rapidly expanding umbrella of the cannabis business. Many nations have recently made the use and possession of cannabis legal for a variety of reasons, including medicinal and recreational usage.

One such country is Canada. In 2018, Canada legalized recreational cannabis for adult use "to protect the health and safety of its consumers, curb the illicit drug trade, and launch a new economic growth for the country".

More like an economic boom than just growth, between 2018 and 2021, cannabis sales generated $11 billion in sales, contributed over $43 billion to the country's economy, and directly or indirectly generated over 150,000 jobs.

Other countries that have taken similar routes have also seen similar growth. The list of countries that have legalized weed includes Uruguay, some states in the US, and the Netherlands, which decriminalized its distribution and usage, while many other countries legalized it for medicinal use alone.

And now Germany is about to follow suit. The country's Health Minister, Karl Lauterbach, said the proposal has received "very good feedback" from the European Commission, and hopefully, the bill will be announced in late March or early April 2023.

When will weed be legal in Germany?

From May 1, 2023, marijuana will be Germany's new economic sector, which is rapidly growing globally and is expected to boost the economy by over $5 billion per year and create 27,000 new jobs.

The punishment for marijuana possession in Germany before now was a sentence of up to a year in jail; now it will no longer be an offense.

In 2021, Germany, a country of 83 million people, recorded 4 million marijuana users between the ages of 18 and 24, a number that is expected to rise given its publicity.

The country already boasts the largest economy in Europe with a GDP of $4.3 trillion, and legalizing cannabis will give it a further boost.

Cannabis in Nigeria

Cannabis is currently illegal in Nigeria; it attracts a sentence of at least 12 years, and ironically, the country is the third-largest consumer of the product in the world,

Nigeria's GDP currently stands at $448 billion, with a population of over 230 million people. That implies that joining Canada's population of 35 million people with Germany's 83 million people will make both countries' populations combined equal to half of Nigeria's population, even though the two countries have a combined GDP of over $5 trillion.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Nigeria currently stands at 43%, meaning almost 50% of the labor force in Nigeria doesn't have a job. Compared to Canada and Germany, the unemployment rate combined of the two countries is about 10%, 5% each. 

Cannabis goes by many names in the country depending on the product exactly. The common ones are 

SK, Indian Hemp, Mary Jane, Igbo, Arizona, and others.

The cannabis industry in Nigeria tends to be an untapped opportunity in the country, even though cannabis is widely grown across many states in the country, including Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Delta, and others.

Is smoking and selling cigarettes legal in Nigeria?

Yes, it is perfectly legal, and although there are restrictions against smoking in public spaces and on public transport, the country is still one of the largest consumers of tobacco products in the world.

It is yet to be seen when the laws against cannabis in Nigeria will be relaxed to follow suit with Canada and Germany and passed with the confidence of deeply regulating the sector and managing the industry properly while the government makes more income.

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