The German cannabis industry is in a state of growth and change, but this was not always the case. There was a moment in time when cannabis was illegal in Germany, ranked as a Schedule 1 drug right along with heroin and LSD. However, drug laws regarding cannabis use have become more progressive, giving citizens hope that cannabis will become fully legal.
There is a lot of excitement in the German cannabis market as the country is quickly moving up, forecasted to soon be #1 in the European cannabis market. Already, some of the biggest, global cannabis companies, such as Aphria, Canopy Growth, and Beleave are moving in fast to get in on the action. And for good reason too.
In 2017, Germany required patients to receive their medical cannabis through pharmacies, not dispensaries. Since this new legislation took place, there have been over 50,000 patients who have been prescribed medical cannabis — quite an increase from the time between 1998 and 2017, when there were only seven patients. Perhaps the main growing source of tension at the time was the law’s vague terminology of “seriously ill”, which resulted in fewer patients partaking in legal cannabis use than there is potential for. But, times have certainly changed.
The FIDM (Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices) has awarded many licensures for the cultivation of medical cannabis and has approved the use of cannabis for approximately 30 illnesses from chronic pain conditions to chemotherapy recipients. Now, German citizens can confidently use medical cannabis to improve their quality of life, and healthcare providers can be comfortable providing their patients the care and coverage they need. And even though cannabis use is illegal for recreational use, German laws and attitudes towards cannabis have been progressively changing. In fact, even the German Police Association support full legalization. It isn’t uncommon for law enforcement to seize cannabis with no further repercussions. If caught with up to 15 grams of cannabis in Berlin, for example, more times than not, no criminal charges will be levied.
It may be safe to assume that as medicinal (and recreational) cannabis use becomes more widely accepted and gains traction in Germany, eventually, legislation will become more progressive to push for full legalization — which, for German citizens, could potentially mean more locally sourced and less imported cannabis.
The Image Credit: Herb.co