Potential Legalization In Germany – The Hopeful Response From The Cannabis Industry
By Brautinvest.de Editorial Team
How do Germany’s industry leaders view a potential cannabis legalization? We asked around: In overall, the founders and CEOs of successful cannabis companies are hoping for growth opportunities, more control and thus better prevention than on the black market. They point to tax revenues and falling costs for the public budget. At the same time, they discuss the concrete design: Distribution through specialized stores or pharmacies? Cultivation in Germany or imports? And in view of the half-roll backward in Luxembourg – where only home cultivation is legalized – they also point out that nothing is yet set in stone. Critical voices are also being heard: Cannabis is more of a pharmaceutical product, not one for consumption. We were on the hunt for statements.
Growth market, tax revenues and relief for the state budget
Timo Bongartz, General Manager Fluence: “In Germany, we already have a strong ecosystem of companies that can successfully implement cannabis legalization in a structured way. Whether startup or corporation, whether industry, trade or capital provider, the market participants are ready. Now it’s a matter of sounding out politically and socially whether and how to go down the legalization path.”
Niklas Kouparanis, Co-Founder and CEO of Bloomwell Group: “Legalization is clearly on the horizon, even if cannabis will certainly not be legalized overnight in Germany. After all, it is one of the few issues on which all coalition partners are largely in agreement. The crux is the concrete, regulatory demanding, design – I strongly assume a future recreational sale through pharmacies. Product safety for the consumer must be the top priority here. Remind you, in the event of legalization in Germany, we are talking about the largest legal market in the world to date. From a business perspective, it would be negligent not to develop a strategy for this market. ‘The traffic light is green.'”
Benedikt Sons, co-founder and CEO of Cansativa: “Positive! A real growth driver for Germany as a business location: increasing tax revenues and numerous new jobs could boost the German economy. This is accompanied by the relief of the judiciary and authorities through the elimination of petty cannabis-related offenses – these not only swallow up time and paper, but also cost the state an enormous amount of money. From our point of view, the topic of cannabis will soon be socially acceptable, is gaining more and more support, and the task now is to create good conditions for a successful legal cannabis program with the right regulatory framework. Nevertheless, cannabis is not a product without concerns and it is important that dispensing takes place under certain conditions in order to reduce risks of abuse and, in particular, to protect vulnerable people or educate them about dangers.”
Lars Müller, CEO of Synbiotic: “The new government in Germany now gives us additional tailwind once again. The details are not yet known, but we expect a significant step forward in terms of legalization and commercialization.”
Ensuring individual and entrepreneurial freedom
Kai-Friedrich Niermann, lawyer and industry consultant: “The legalization of cannabis is overdue. A new cannabis policy is essential for the state and societal modernization that the new government is announcing. Individual personal freedom and corporate economic freedom of operation, embedded in a well-regulated framework of social responsibility, must be strengthened and failed government repressive policies replaced.”
Controlled dispensing instead of black market excesses
Finn Age Hänsel, founder Sanity Group: “Of course, a lot depends on the regulatory design of the dispensary, but in general I have been fighting for a liberalization of cannabis use for more than 20 years and I am happy to see something moving in politics now. Controlled dispensing and proper regulation solves more problems than continuing to accept the excesses of a growing black market. And by the way a cannabis tax also to plug Corona-related holes in the federal budget without burdening anyone more.”
Tobias Pietsch, owner: “Cannabis legalization is socially indispensable. We will be able to improve many of the problems that have arisen.”
Dr. Adrian Fischer, physician and natural scientist, co-founder and managing director of Demecan: “Instead of blanket legalization, smart deregulation is needed. This includes education and the protection of minors. In addition, there needs to be strict quality controls on cultivation and production, e.g. by the already existing German cannabis agency, which also controls medical cannabis, and a restriction of production to certified producers, ideally from Germany. Of course, cannabis as a stimulant is also a potential billion-dollar market that promises tax revenues and jobs. And in addition, law enforcement agencies and courts could be relieved. However, it is clear that legalization will also have to answer questions such as how to compensate for the actual risks that the healthcare system would face. Or where consumers should obtain cannabis. In licensed specialist stores or in pharmacies that have been dispensing cannabis as a medicine since 2017? One thing is certain: Pharmacists already have the relevant knowledge about the active ingredients, and can assess dose and purity. Because in the end, the goal must be to give citizens access to a controlled, high-quality product and protect them from dangerous goods from the black market.”
Stephen Murphy, CEO & Co-Founder Prohibition Partners: “I do believe the legalisation will proceed in Germany, but both developing and executing the framework will take some time. This is a public health exercise and not an economic one by the government so it will require a more considered approach which is to say that the supply chain won’t vary too much from current expected standards. I’d place a (small) bet on Germany going legal before the US!“
Coordination at the European level
Daniel Kruse, entrepreneur and EIHA President: “EIHA welcomes cannabis legalization in Germany, which will provide another boost to the European hemp industry and help end decades of hemp stigma. However, we urge the German government to closely coordinate the new legal framework with its European partners and to advocate for a harmonized commercial hemp and cannabis strategy across Europe. In addition, legalization must be designed to be as socially responsible and fair as possible, including in terms of youth protection, prevention and participation in road traffic.”
More than home cultivation – skepticism remains
Alfredo Pascual, Vice-President of Investment Analysis at Seed Innovations: “It’s still too early to know with certainty when and how adult-use cannabis will be legalized in Germany.
In neighboring Luxembourg, the government promised full-blown legalization in its 2018 Koalitionsvertrag, yet three years later it looks like they will settle on only allowing to grow a few plants at home for personal use, which is a step in the right direction but far from ideal.
I hope that if German policymakers in the new government agree that cannabis should be legalized, that they will have the courage to go beyond what their peers in Luxembourg did.”
Cannabis is a pharmaceutical product
Linus M. Weber – Founder & M.D.: “Cannabis is a legal pharmaceutical product and we need to enforce that more broadly in Germany so that more patients can be treated. For this, legalization as a stimulant is not conducive, but pushes potential prescribers and patients back again. In my opinion, the only right way is to continue to offer cannabis only pharmaceutically. However, whether it must continue to be prescribed or whether products with low THC content can also be made available in pharmacies without a prescription should be examined in detail.”
This article was first published on krautinvest.de in German: https://krautinvest.de/potenzielle-legalisierung-das-hoffnungsvolle-echo-aus-der-cannabis-industrie/