The German cannabis patient community has grown by leaps and bounds since the program was approved a few years ago and the International Cannabis Business Conference is so pleased to have witnessed the growth firsthand, holding our first annual conference in Berlin just after medical legislation was approved. Despite a lot of bureaucratic red tape (that has loosened over time), there are now about 50,000 cannabis patients and that number could easily increase to hundreds of thousands in the coming years as cannabis goes more mainstream and prices drop.
The robust growth of Germany’s medical cannabis program isn’t only evident by the increase in the number of patients, but in clear signs that the future growth of the program is very bright. First, the increase in exports has surged dramatically as the European Union powerhouse has imported nearly as much cannabis from Canada and the Netherlands in the first six months of 2019 as it did in all of 2018. Also, very tellingly, licensed German pharmacists, those actually dispensing the medicine, not only support medicinal cannabis, but three-fourths see the market growing, as reported by Marijuana Business Daily:
According to the paid report, the majority of pharmacists in Germany generally favor medical cannabis – as long as they’re the ones responsible for dispensing it.
Three-quarters believe the German medical cannabis market will continue to grow, and among that group, 15% said growth will be strong.
About half the pharmacists believe they are well informed about medical cannabis, but fewer than 5% responded they are “very well” informed. The rest said they were poorly or very poorly informed.
With cultivation companies in Germany now getting licensed, with homegrown cannabis expected to be on pharmacy shelves in 2020, prices will come down, variety will increase, and local lobbying efforts will strengthen. With the industry growing, as German pharmacists and virtually everyone expects, advocates will become more influential with policy makers, and the bureaucratic hurdles slowing the medical program will start to be removed. Eventually, the lobbying effort and public support will garner enough votes to legalize cannabis for all adults. When they do, will German pharmacists still be the sole dispensers, or will the market open up to more retail outlets? Only time will tell.
The International Cannabis Business Conference is THE industry event to learn the latest and to network with top investors and entrepreneurs. Next up: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, this September 15-16. Purchase discounted early bird tickets by August 21st to save.