Copenhagen presents notion for five-year recreational cannabis pilot scheme

Amid continued debate about the condition and potential of the cannabis space in many territories around the world, Copenhagen – the capital city of Denmark – put forward a notion earlier this month calling for the freedom to operate its own cannabis policy.

The motion was presented in early March to the Parliament of Denmark, which is known as Folketinget. It sets out the city’s proposals to allow its citizens to possess and consume cannabis on a recreational basis – and not only that, but also grow and store their own cannabis at home.

What has led to this pilot scheme being put forward?

All five political parties have come to an agreement on the pilot scheme, which was reportedly decided on after the realisation that a “war on drugs” approach was not delivering results.

In their motion, officials cited National Board of Health data that indicated more than four in 10 people below 40 years of age had used cannabis at least once. Furthermore, the total number of people to have used cannabis during the last month is twice the equivalent figure in 1994.

It is perhaps not so surprising, then, that Copenhagen officials have expressed a wish to establish state-operated dispensaries in areas of the city interested in joining the scheme.

What details do we know about the initiative so far?

The plans would see the dispensaries placed in central locations and helmed by trained staff. It is also expected that customers should be able to easily access information about the products, with the document further stating the need for wholesale to only be done in a legally compliant manner and within Denmark.

As for how much the products will cost when purchased from the dispensaries, officials are aiming to limit this to keep it in line with prices on the black market. There will also be a requirement for buyers of cannabis products to be Danish residents and at least 18 years old.

It is expected that the scheme will be subject to ongoing evaluations, with any necessary adjustments being made over time.

Across Denmark as a whole, it has been legal to use cannabis for medicinal purposes since a four-year pilot scheme took effect in 2018. In December 2021, politicians in the Danish Parliament voted unanimously for the indefinite continuation of the scheme.

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