MedCann founder Pierre Debs has a rather remarkable story about how he rose to the highest ranks of the medical cannabis industry in Germany. The European powerhouse’s medical law has emerged as a progressive beacon that is helping lead the way for the rest of the world in a number of areas, thanks to pioneers like Dr. Debs. I am really looking forward to meeting with Pierre at the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Berlin and am appreciative that he could set aside a few minutes to talk with me over Skype about his history with medical cannabis.
Pierre Debs’ tale with cannabis started with a family member’s bout with cancer. Pierre delved into learning about medical cannabis, including the the human endocannabinoid system and the phytocannabinoids in the plant itself. Debs intensely focused upon his research and science, after leaving the lab in early 2015 he co-founded MedCann to help German patients acquire safe medical cannabis.
“It is fantastic that in Germany insurance companies will cover medical cannabis. What is even more fantastic is that the ruling conservative political party pushed the policy,” Debs told me.
MedCann was the first German company to import dried medical cannabis flowers from Canada, helping add to the momentum for international cooperation that Germany has fostered to implement its medical cannabis system. MedCann has been acquired by Canada’s Canopy Growth recently, and the German operation remains the same, they “just have a different owner.” Germany has recently expanded its medical cannabis program and will soon start licensing domestic production.
As someone born in the states, but living in Germany since 1999, Pierre has a unique perspective on the medical policies in both Europe and the United States, noting that, “Each country is in its own process. The laws and restrictions in the United States have provided an opportunity for Europe to take the lead on medical cannabis research in many ways. But it hasn’t been easy in Germany, and we are making progress to get where we need to go. And we will. And so will the United States.”
With so much progress recently in Germany, it is easy to see that it is helping lead the way internationally. Hopefully, other nations will soon follow in Germany’s footsteps and cover medical cannabis with healthcare insurance. With researchers and dedicated minds like Pierre Debs forging a path that is normalizing and mainstreaming medicinal cannabis at a rapid pace, the world will be hearing from, and learning from, the German medical cannabis community in the months and years to come.
Join Pierre Debs and other great medical and business minds at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin, Germany, on April 10-12. This is a truly historic event that is expected to sell out, so get your tickets soon.