The German Cannabis Association (Deutscher Hanfverband or DHV) is Germany’s largest lobbying group working to legalize cannabis. Germany has experienced great success, largely decriminalizing cannabis across the nation (although rules vary across the country) and implementing one of the world’s most progressive medical programs, but the DHV isn’t done yet. Led by activist Georg Wurth, the trade association is working hard to fully end cannabis prohibition in Germany.
Wurth, a former financial officer, has extensive political and drug policy experience, including his work on the Remscheid City Council and as Managing Director of the Federal Network Drug Policy for the Greens (basically Germany’s Green Party). Under Wurth’s guidance, the German Cannabis Association has experienced great growth, just as Germany has experienced a renaissance of sorts with regards to its marijuana policy. I, like many activists, am really looking forward to seeing Georg speak at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin.
Germany’s medical system, since it expanded last year, is a rather progressive program (on paper) that can be a model for the rest of the world. Cannabis can be prescribed just as any medicine, doctors don’t have to exhaust all other possible medications or force patients to jump through unnecessary hoops. Patients can pick up medicine from their pharmacy and their insurance cancover the costs.
Unfortunately, while the medical program is growing, the law needs a lot of improvement, as Georg Wurth explained to me, “More than 20,000 prescriptions and more than 10,000 patients get reimbursement from their health insurance. That is a big step in one year and it shows, what is about to come. Very soon, Germany will have more patients than Israel. But a couple of problems slow the development down. People run into too many problems finding a doctor willing to prescribe cannabis, and health insurers often hesitate to approve reimbursement, prices in the pharmacies are way too hight, and we have supply shortages.”
However, Germany’s medical program should continue to bring cannabis into the mainstream in the EU powerhouse. “There has been a lot of positive media attention regarding medical cannabis in Germany. This has brought a completely new focus on the plant,” stated Wurth.
With such a forward-thinking (and growing) medical program, it is only a matter of time before Germany legalizes cannabis for all adults. The mainstreaming of cannabis won’t only benefit the cannabis community in Germany, but also throughout the European Union, and the rest of the world. With our economy becoming ever more global, the cannabis industry is poised to continue its growth, nation by nation. While he noted that the legalization of cannabis in Germany depends on a lot of factors, Georg Wurth believes that, “Optimistically, we may be able to legalize after the 2021 elections.”
While improvements of cannabis laws and programs in Germany and elsewhere need improvement and the future of legalization is uncertain, it is clear that there is great momentum in Germany, and around the world to end the failed an harmful policy of cannabis prohibition. It is great to have freedom fighters like Georg Wurth, and so many amazing advocates around the world, working together in this global struggle for freedom.
How YOU Can Help the German Cannabis Association:
While Wurth and his colleagues are doing tremendous work, they need help. Visit their site and become a part of their network. If you are able, support their lobbying work as a corporate sponsor and take advantage of their advertising and consulting services. And please, spread the word!
You can see Georg Wurth, and many other great activists and entrepreneurs, at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin this April 11-13. Tickets are still available, but the event is expected to sell out, so get your tickets today.