Last year the German Parliament made a move to greatly expand its tiny and nominally-functioning medical cannabis program to make patient access easier, allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for any ailment, and begin the process of formalizing the medicine into state-run healthcare and insurance programs. Previously, only about 700 patients were enrolled in the country’s medical cannabis program, and authors of the bill to expand the program naively believed only another 700 patients per year would want to join the new plan.
In a move that surprises no one who has done much research into the evolution of cannabis politics or the science of the plant, several thousand Germans have now signed up to legally consume the medicine:
“Within 10 months, more than 13,000 people had applied, according to a survey of three large health insurers by the Rheinische Post newspaper. Nearly two-thirds of the applications were approved, and some of the remainder are pending further information from patients and their physicians.
“…The dilemma now facing Germany, which has some of the strictest narcotic drug laws in Europe, is how to get more weed, which is currently imported from countries with legalized operations, like Canada and the Netherlands. A program to produce its own medical marijuana is underway: Last year, Germany’s federal drug institute issued 10 tenders for companies to grow up to 2 tons per year through 2021 and 6 tons from 2022 onward. The first harvest is scheduled for next year.
“There’s just one hitch: The law requires companies to have previous experience with medical marijuana, which German companies don’t have. So that is forcing them into joint ventures with foreign rivals, and some are taking the government to court over the issue. Experts predict domestic sales of up to €6 billion ($7.3 billion) over the next 10 years, which explains why more than 100 companies are bidding.”
Cannabis in Europe is POPPING – especially in Germany! After the next International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco, California, on February 1-2, the ICBC heading back to Berlin on April 11-13. If you want to get involved in the next big global cannabis marketplace, then the ICBC in Berlin is a MUST ATTEND. Meeting Europe’s leading experts in science, business, politics and technology on April 11-13, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Early bird tickets are on sale now!