22 March 2017
As always the picture won’t be quite as rosy as they paint it, as anybody who has dealt with German bureaucracy will attest to.
That said Germany will temper its by the book approach with a truly national scheme, insurance inclusion and other sensible approaches such as making the market as dull as possible !
Here’s what MT are saying
Germany – the EU’s most populous state with 82 million people – is about to offer cannabis on medical insurance. When that happens, demand will soar.
Germany’s lower house of parliament passed a bill legalizing the production, sale and use of medical marijuana on January 19th, 2017.
The bill is restricted to the sale and use of cannabis to patients, and there is no provision for home growing. This means that all cannabis (sold legally) in Germany will come via a doctor’s prescription and from a pharmacy – just like any other prescription drug.
This ensures that the cannabis distributed is of a consistent quality and, most importantly, a consistent strength. It doesn’t ensure that it is especially interesting for cannabis connoisseurs or recreational users in terms of look, taste, smell or effects.
But thanks to the German bill, cannabis will be available through health insurance plans, which is a good thing as currently what is available in the pharmacy is a lot more expensive than what you can buy on the streets.
“Those who are severely ill need to get the best possible treatment and that includes health insurance funds paying for cannabis as a medicine for those who are chronically ill if they can’t be effectively treated any other way,” said Health Minister Hermann Groehe to Reuters.
Beginning last year, Germany has been distributing cannabis flowers through pharmacies on a case per case basis. This created a sizeable market of a few thousand patients that – due to the fact that Germany does not currently allow the cultivation of cannabis – is met through imports from (legal) cannabis producing countries, such as the Netherlands and Canada.
This is going to change. Companies are already rapidly putting together blueprints and applications to legally cultivate cannabis in Germany. Some of these companies are already importing and building up their distribution contacts and networks. As soon as they have the green light to cultivate, they will be building local facilities to meet the increasing demand.
Just how big this demand will be is currently based on estimates. Germany is a cannabis-friendly country, with 23.1% of the adult population having consumed cannabis. That’s nearly 19 million people, which given cannabis’ illegality at the time of the survey will include both medical and recreational users. To put things in perspective, Germany’s population is more than double that of California, with 82 million versus 39 million inhabitants.