What with share prices tumbling in the US & Canada we notice cannabis media are sloshing around looking for the next good news story and this past week Germany appears to be in vogue.
MJ Biz run the “New data reveals top medical conditions for which cannabis is reimbursed in Germany” story
The German government disclosed the six most-reported diagnoses for which medical cannabis has been prescribed and covered by statutory health insurers (GKV), with pain No. 1 followed by a muscle condition known as spasticity.
In Germany, Deutsche Welle report
Angela Merkel’s party mulls legalizing cannabis in Germany
Prominent members of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have begun to openly discuss legalizing marijuana in Germany. The move would be a historic policy turn for the conservative party.
Germany’s center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is openly considering a momentous u-turn in the party’s attitude to the legalization of cannabis.
“Cannabis could be freed for personal use, of course with controlled production and distribution,” CDU interior policy spokesman Marian Wendt told the RND network on Friday. “The resources freed in the police and judiciary should be used to fight the illegal trade.”
Wendt’s statement came after the German government’s drug commissioner, Daniela Ludwig, also signaled a more liberal new drug policy in the conservative party.
Ludwig, of the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper earlier this week, “We need to stop with the ideologically charged black-or-white debates, because we won’t get any further.”
Instead, the new drug commissioner said the focus of drug policy should be on practicality. “At the end of the day, what is the best way to protect the health of people, especially young people, and which path makes the most sense for the situation in this country?”
Germany’s new drug czar Daniela Ludwig has a more liberal take
Ludwig also said that the party had been “thinking about” legalization “for years.” “Of course you don’t get addicted from trying it once,” she added. “That’s exactly why we looked at different projects for controlled distribution.”
Change of tack
This struck a markedly different tone to that of her predecessor, Marlene Mortler, also of the CSU, who last year said in a statement, “The constant debate about legalization is heading the wrong way. It suggests to young people especially that cannabis is not a dangerous substance — that is simply not true!”
At the moment, cannabis in Germany is only legal for strict medicinal use. The plant may only be grown, sold, owned, imported or exported with the permission of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices. Seriously ill people can be prescribed cannabis-based drugs.
In practice, however, the state usually does not prosecute the possession of 6 grams or less, a limit agreed by state interior ministers last year.
Angela Merkel’s party is the last of the major political parties in Germany that maintains a strictly prohibitive drug policy, against legalization policies laid out by the Social Democrats, the Greens, the Free Democrats, and the Left party.
Last year, official government figures said that some 4 million Germans use cannabis, with 17% of 18-25-year-olds saying they had used it in the past 12 months.
and UK publishers / consultants Prohibition Partners throw in some big figures for everybody to chew over
Prohibition Partners: German Cannabis Market Could Reach $18B By 2028
Yahoo News write
Prohibition Partners, a European research firm focused on the cannabis industry, has released the first edition of “The Germany Cannabis Report,” a 58-page study in which the organization analyzes the landscape of the German cannabis market.
With the largest economy in the region and new cannabis legislation, the Western European nation is expected to lead the continent’s nascent market in the years to come, according to the research firm.
Germany legalized medical marijuana in 2017 and by 2018, there were already 60,000 estimated users in the system.
Domestic production licenses were granted in early 2019 to replace imports that came primarily from Canada and The Netherlands.
The German Licensing Process
The BfArM, Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, is the main regulatory organism in charge of overseeing cannabis licensing, distribution and production.
The remaining three were granted to Demecan, the only German company in the group.
Each license allows the production of 200 kilograms annually for four years.
Health Care, Medical Cannabis In Germany
The German health care system is projected to play a major role in the country’s cannabis industry.
Over 90% of the German population relies on public health insurers.
They are required by law to cover up to 5 ounces of cannabis medication per user per month. The figure includes cannabis flower and oils, as well as pharmaceutical products like Sativex, Nabilone and Dronabinol.
Of the estimated total health care expenditure for the entire country of 420 billion euros ($468 billion), the total medicinal cannabis allowance is 8 billion euros for 2019.
Many patients have experienced trouble obtaining coverage of their cannabis medicine, according to Prohibition Partners.
About 60% of prescriptions were approved by the major health service providers.
Average cannabis prices are high on an international scale, and patients lacking insurance coverage can end up spending up to 2,400 euros per month.
A Growing Market
Although no official data exists today on the number of German medical cannabis users, it is commonly estimated at 60,000.
Prohibition Partners is predicting this number will rise to 1 million by 2024.
The total estimated market value for German medical cannabis in 2018 was 73 million euros. The firm projects this figure will rise to 7.5 billion euros in 2028.
Recreational consumption and production is not allowed at the moment, but Prohibition Partners expects legalization is on the horizon in the coming years and will bring the German cannabis market to an estimated 16.2 billion euros in size by 2028.