The recent approval of medical marijuana in Germany can only be good for the CBD market, say producers and health officials.
“Even though the decision doesn’t have an immediate impact on our ongoing business, we will definitely benefit from the presence of this topic in the media,” said Joscha Krauss, General Manager at Berlin-based Medical Hemp GmbH, a CBD producer. “It brings cannabis back on the table as a legitimate source for pharmaceuticals, supplements and cosmetics.
“The fact that health insurance companies will cover the cost of medical cannabis gives Germany a leading role on a global level,” Krauss added, and empowers both patients and doctors in their efforts to manage patient needs.
The legalization also will spur German research on cannabis in all of its medical forms including CBD, Krauss noted.
Eases path for patients
The German Pain Society praised the new law
“Current studies and reports from experience clearly show that cannabinoids on the one hand in many cases are only weak pain-relievers, but on the other hand for certain select patients can definitely be helpful,” Prof. Dr. Michael Schäfer of the Pain Society said.
The new law makes it easy for patients to access cannabis for medicinal purposes, removing a complicated system in which special authorization was required to obtain cannabis remedies in the past. Patients are only required to have a doctor’s prescription, and can collect reimbursement via their health insurance program.
The law is expected to take effect in March after it gets a reading in the upper house of the German parliament.
Canada, Israel eye German market
Until state-supervised cannabis plantations are set up in Germany cannabis will be imported, German health officials said.
Germany last year reached an agreement with Canada that would allow medical marijuana imports from Canadian licensed producers. Israel, a prolific producer of medical marijuana, will no doubt also be looking to the German market, industry observers have noted.
Germany joins Austria, Britain, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain among European countries that have legalized some form of cannabis or decriminalized possession of small quantities of marijuana. Italy and the Czech Republic have laws that specifically allow cannabis to be used for medical purposes.