ICBC Article: Did Germany’s Government Create A Domestic Cannabis Monopoly?

Medical cannabis policy in Germany is somewhat unique, in that the law permits for insurance reimbursements for medical cannabis products purchased from pharmacies. Germany is not the only country to have such a system in place, with Colombia serving as another example. However, many medical cannabis programs around the globe do not have a government reimbursement program.

Reimbursing patients for medical cannabis products, which Germany has done since 2017, helps increase safe access for suffering patients by lowering the financial barrier to acquire medicine. It also doubles as a subsidy for the jurisdiction’s emerging medical cannabis industry in that it ensures that a steady customer base is always present.

A lot of focus is directed at Germany’s medical cannabis price points, import statistics, domestic cannabis production statistics, and overall market size, which is understandable. Yet, often lost in the shuffle is Germany’s current licensing model, which is fairly nuanced. Due to treaties and the German government’s current approach, one specific type of subcontract license could prove to be particularly significant in the coming years as Germany transitions towards adult-use legalization.

Subcontracting Domestic Cannabis Storage

When Germany’s legal medical cannabis program launched in 2017 the entire program was built on cannabis imports from companies based outside of Germany, such as in Canada. Various companies applied for initial import licenses, with another major evolution occurring in 2018 with the start of the tender for domestic production.

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Did Germany’s Government Create A Domestic Cannabis Monopoly?

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