Does Germany Actually Know How Much Cannabis It Is Consuming?
There has been a growing awareness, including among policymakers, that something is not working with the current German cannabis laws and that starts with understanding who is doing what. With a lack of clarity around all private patients, the numbers being reported are those who have made it through the “statutory” health system to approvals. This kind of insurance covers the vast amount of Germans (90%).
However private patients are in another kettle of fish. They may have an easier time finding doctors willing to prescribe, but the prices they face at the pharmacy are eye-watering. This is one of the biggest problems the German government itself now faces. Estimating the amount needed accurately, while trying to get a grip on what is legit and what is not coming in over the border.
With a relaxation of CBD rules now in the offing, this puts another wrinkle into the game. Drug interdiction in such an environment – and determining which is legit and which is not – is becoming even more of a losing game. Does any policeman want to arrest a patient for CBD flower?
Upping Domestic Production
The country is now in the grips of an extended leadership discussion that has been going on for several years. Issues across the map, including cannabis reform, are catching the traditional party unawares. There are many reasons that Germans want to see cannabis cultivation expanded here – including of course capitalizing on a national theme – namely exports. But there are many other compelling reasons slowing the industry down. Acceptance is one thing. Finding a way to bring this unwieldy, strange plant, into regulated rules is another.
That said, with a clarification on at least CBD, there is another subtext in the room. If hemp as a plant is not “novel,” much less cannabinoids extracted from the same, what does this mean about the THC discussion? Especially as medicine and already in the room?
These are all issues now on the table as the country faces the reality that medical cannabis works, and for a range of conditions. But who should get priority? Who should pay for it? And is there actually enough certified product to even go around now?
All of these questions from a policy perspective are in the air right now, as Germany again faces a leadership challenge within the CDU, and political alliances are again shifting. Cannabis and legalization policies are very much in the front and center of German life. And likely to be so for the foreseeable future.
Be sure to attend the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin – now moved to new summer dates for the latest and greatest updates on an industry that is finally starting to come into its own.