German medical cannabis producer Demecan was leading an effort in promoting important modifications to Germany’s medical cannabis laws. While Germany made legal medical cannabis in 2017, the existing regulations have created difficulties for domestic producers, affecting both availability and costs. Demecan is acting to resolve these problems and guarantee that patients in need have easy access to medical cannabis.
Challenges for German medical cannabis producers
Compared to imports, German medical cannabis manufacturing is at a significant disadvantage. Strict laws govern the domestic production of medical cannabis in Germany. The limitations cover the types, the amount, and the cost. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) defined these rules in a tender from 2019. Germany can currently grow six different types of medical cannabis, with an annual total volume of 2.6 tons, with a price of €2.20 per gram.
In contrast, there are no limitations on imported medical cannabis. Almost 25 tons of cannabis were imported into Germany in 2022 alone for medical and scientific uses, accounting for more than 90% of the industry. Pharmacies can directly negotiate rates with importers, which frequently results in significantly higher profit margins. As a result, even with competitive production costs, growing medical cannabis in Germany is difficult as Demecan claims.
Concerns of Demecan focus on the significant reliance on medical cannabis are coming from imports. Confusion and uncertainty result from the wide range of imported cannabis strains that patients and healthcare professionals must deal with. Moreover, there have been reports of notable variations in quality of the such medical cannabis products.
Demecan: two-fold proposal
Demecan has proposed a comprehensive two-pronged strategy to address the issues faced by domestic medicinal cannabis growers in Germany, in cooperation with a number of partners.
First of all, they support a large rise in domestic cannabis production. As Demecan says, the best goal would be to satisfy at least half of the projected demand. This calculated action guarantees a significant portion of German production and may help reduce healthcare expenses while supporting regional farming.
Second, Demecan supports the idea of replacing the current tender system with a different licensing procedure. That would entail the issuing of permits with particular requirements. Demecan also suggests that it may be supervised by an organisation such as the Cannabis Agency.
Clear implementation schedule
The “Club Anbau & Regional-Modell” (CARe) two-pillar model, which addresses non-profit home cultivation in Pillar 1, has been proposed by the German government. But the implementation schedule and details of Pillar 2, which includes regional model projects with commercial supply chains, are unclear. Demecan stresses the significance of developing a specific timeline for Pillar 2 in order to guarantee trustworthy planning and sufficient production capacity.
Germany’s medical cannabis industry is crucial for providing patients with top-notch medical care. Nonetheless, there is reason for concern over the structural disadvantages that domestic producers face. Demecan and other businesses are prepared to supply Germany’s expanding medical cannabis market. Patients and the healthcare system stand to gain from the Cannabis Act’s (CanG) implementation, which presents a chance to enhance the environment for “Made in Germany” medical cannabis production. Demecan’s campaign seeks to assist the local business while increasing patients’ access to and affordability of medical cannabis.
Unexpectedly, the state of Saxony’s federal government has also started a program to promote the growth of cannabis cultivation — but not for recreational use. Armin Schuster, the Federal Minister of Internal Affairs, addressed the Federal Council that the cannabis legalisation bill sets inappropriate priorities.