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Weed in the Weeds: Can You Legally Grow Cannabis in Community Gardens?

Since April, adults in Germany have gained the legal right to grow cannabis for personal use, sparking curiosity about whether this extends to allotment gardens. The Federal Ministry of Health, however, has clarified that cultivating cannabis in these communal spaces generally isn't permissible unless the cultivator actually resides there—a rare circumstance given the legal framework.

Allotment gardens, regulated under the Federal Allotment Garden Act, are not typically recognized as suitable for permanent residence. The Act specifically prohibits transforming these spaces into residential dwellings, a stance reinforced during legislative discussions. As such, the typical allotment gardener cannot legally grow cannabis in these plots.

The German hemp federation has criticized this interpretation, arguing that the government's own cannabis law seems to allow for broader cultivation rights. According to the law, adults may grow up to three cannabis plants in their "residence or usual place of residence," which the explanatory notes of the law extend to include gardens, allotments, and other similar dwellings.

Despite these broader definitions, the Ministry holds firm that only in exceptional cases—such as those allotments where residence rights were established before the Act's implementation in 1983—might cultivation be legally defended. For most, then, growing marijuana in allotment gardens remains off-limits, ensuring that community gardens focus on more traditional horticultural pursuits.

Should the law be amended to allow cannabis cultivation in community allotment gardens?

  • Yes. Promotes freedom and space utilization.

  • No. Keep community gardens drug-free.

  • Maybe. If strictly regulated and designated.


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