The German medical cannabis system has been an innovative pioneer in a few respects, helping thousands of patients get access to tested medicinal cannabis that is covered by their insurance programs. However, regulatory burdens and the lack of domestic cultivation have hindered the program, increasing prices and decreasing the availability of strains and products. The German government has been accepting domestic cultivation applications in a process that has been complicated and shrouded in secrecy. Applicants could not even speak about applying or their bid would be hindered, as was discussed at the recent International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin. Last week, Germany took a big step forward announcing three companies that have been selected for licenses, pending some issues still left to be worked out.
Our good friends at the German Cannabis Association (DHV) informed their supporters of this historic news in a newsletter (slight editing is done due to Google translation issues):
One day after the ICBC a message came in, with the judge not before 10:04. had expected. On Wednesday, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) informed the 79 candidates who had applied for the cultivation of medicinal purposes in Germany. Accordingly, three companies, including the Canadian producer Aurora and Aphria and the German company Demecan should, (produce) the first medical cannabis in Germany grow(n). Originally, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court should adjudicate on an application that ran against the second licensing round on 04.10.2019. Given the ever-increasing numbers of patients but also advertised by the Cannabis Agency amount will not be enough and Germany will continue to be dependent on imports of medicinal purposes. Other licensing agreements are inevitable to meet as a medicine the increasing demand for cannabis from the perspective of the German Cannabis Association.
The sooner that domestic cultivation can occur, the better it will be for patients. The competition should be good for patients as Marguerite Arnold wrote for the Cannabis Industry Journal, importing into the country is also increasing, so prices should drop:
Several weeks ago, a Frankfurt-based distribution start-up announced that they had successfully imported cannabis into the country from Macedonian-based Nysk Holdings via Poland.
At the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Berlin last weekend, Australian producers (for one) were also reporting a German demand for their product that was greater than they could fill. And there were many Israelis present for what is expected to be an official opening of their import ability by the third quarter of this year.
The bid itself is going to have a powerful impact on pricing in both the German and European market beyond that. It represents the first time in any country that a government has attempted to pre-negotiate prices for the drug as a narcotic beyond Israel and in this case, it will have at least regional implications.
While there are gonna be some more ups and downs, including lawsuits and bureaucratic wrangling, but Germany moving forward with domestic cultivation licenses is a great step forward for patients and the German cannabis industry. What happens in Germany ripples across the European continent and beyond, and you can learn the latest about these bids and the greater European industry at the next ICBC in Zurich, Switzerland, this May 15th-16th, in collaboration with CannaTrade (taking place the 17th-19th), get your early-bird tickets by April 24th to save.