There is a lot of buzz lately regarding Germany-many people believe that the country will soon make a move to completely legalise Cannabis for recreational purposes.
Since 10th March, 2017, doctors can prescribe marijuana flowers or cannabis-infused drugs for more than 50 different health conditions — ranging from minor ones such as migraines ,to more serious ones like relief from chemotherapy for Cancer and Chronic Pain.
Until now the quantities needed are imported solely from the Netherlands and Canada, but this slowly changes as the government decided to produce its own Medical Cannabis. Three licenses were awarded to three Canadian corporations, that will work with a German company.
The German government decided to move one step forward and be one of the first countries European Union to fully legalise medical marijuana. The numbers show that more than 100,000 German patients could take advantage of the updated legislation.
Germany is Europe’s most populous country, with an estimated 80.4 million people. There is the country in Europe with the most medical marijuana patients and that is a crucial fact for anyone that wants to take place in the new market. The German Medical Cannabis market could reach more than €6 billion sales/year by 2030.
For now things are moving towards the right direction but still there are several practical problems to be solved..One of them is that thousands of patients cannot get a easily a prescription for medical cannabis as the German health system connects the prescription to the health insurances that currently decline 30% of all cannabis prescription claims submitted by German doctors. Additionally as Cannabis is still imported from the Netherlands and Canada the prices are much higher and not at all competitive to other traditional drugs.As a result its much easier for the doctors and cheaper for the patients to get prescriptions of other drugs.
Currently there are three parties that support the legalisation of cannabis for recreational purposes. But In spite of the flourishing medical marijuana industry the 3 most dominant parties in Germany are opposed to it. But this doesn’t mean that the Cannabis movement is not gaining traction, There is a big number of Cannabis Activists fighting for the legalisation. For example the German Hemp Association (DHV), is one of this groups. Additionally, many lobbyists are also working on it(in a different way of course). Right now the green party, the liberal party and the left-wing party, are officially supporting Cannabis legalisation. Moreover, numerous state associations of the social democrats(second largest party), are supporting legalisation. Surprisingly, other groups are in favor of a more liberal policy regarding Cannabis. For example the Association of German Police Officers are supporting the decriminalisation of marijuana for personal use. At the same time and although marijuana is illegal in Germany, there are experiments of controlled distribution of recreational Cannabis taking place in four German cities(Berlin, Dusseldorf, Munster, Cologne). These kind of local experiments are important for the German societies to familiarize themselves with Cannabis and its uses. Does this mean that Legalization is coming soon and Cannabis enthusiasts will be enjoying their bongs freely? Not yet…
Although It is a common belief that minor Cannabis possession is “practically” decriminalised in Germany, the current legal situation is not clear yet and Police is still in some cases prosecuting consumers who possess quantities for personal use.
The truth is that it is still uncertain when the decriminalisation(as a first step of legalisation) of cannabis may happen. An important date might be the federal elections (2021) as traditionally is a good way to debate on these kind of issues. The growing Cannabis supporting trend among younger populations and the overall acceptance of the medical value of the plant is a sign that things might be changing much faster than expected.