Medical Marijuana in Germany
With ancient roots in cannabis history and many emerging opportunities in medical marijuana, Germany stands to be one of the first European countries to legalize recreational cannabis.
If you want to take part in Germany’s cannabis opportunities, the experts at Higher Yields Consulting will provide you and your aspiring cannabis venture with the knowledge to make that happen. In the meantime, here’s a run-down on Germany’s developing cannabis industry.
The History of Cannabis in Germany
Cannabis has always been a part of German history and culture. The first known presence of cannabis in Germany was discovered in ancient caves dating back 7,500 years ago.
Cannabis played an important role in rural German life in the 12th century, and its medicinal effects were already recognized by that time.
In the 15th century, the medicinal benefits of cannabis were recorded in historical texts and preserved by medieval universities during the period of the inquisition.
As the centuries passed, cannabis continued to play a role in German life, until prohibition took effect in the 20th century. In 1996, Germany re-legalized hemp cultivation, and in 2017, as some of its European neighbors began legalizing medical marijuana, Germany followed suit.
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What Are Germany’s Cannabis Laws?
Even though Germany has legalized medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp, the country is still a signatory to the 1961 U.N. Single Convention on Narcotics Law. This law only allows member states to produce or sell cannabis for medicinal or scientific — not recreational — purposes.
Despite this, the German government has made significant strides toward legalization of recreational cannabis over the last couple years. But for now, only medicinal cannabis is legal under German law.
Medicinal cannabis is available to treat a limited number of medical conditions and when your doctor believes cannabis is the best course of treatment.
Once you obtain this authorization, you may then purchase your medical cannabis from a certified pharmacy. After which, you have the option to submit your receipts to your health insurance provider who will reimburse you the costs of your medical cannabis purchase.
Recreational cannabis remains illegal in Germany. Significantly, it is not illegal to consume cannabis — only to possess it. That being said, the police tend to look the other way when it comes to the possession of cannabis, and typically only enforce cannabis possession laws when consuming in public or near children.
And even then, typically only people who are caught selling or growing cannabis are criminally prosecuted. Simple possession is often punished by a small fine (€50-€100). As such, like it did in 2017 with medical marijuana, Germany appears on the cusp of completely legalizing recreational cannabis.
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Getting Into the German Cannabis Market
Germany grants cannabis contracts rather than cannabis licenses, and the number of contracts it provides are extremely limited. At this time, only three companies are contracted to produce cannabis in Germany: Aurora, Tilray, and Demecan.
The country’s Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BfArM) has strict requirements for any company that seeks to bid for a government contract to cultivate medicinal cannabis in the country. Here’s what to know about the recreational and medicinal cannabis markets in Germany.
Although recreational cannabis has not yet been legalized in Germany, it’s always worth keeping an eye on new developments. Like other countries that have worked toward legalizing recreational cannabis by starting with medical marijuana, Germany has seen recent attempts by a coalition of the German government to pass recreational cannabis legalization legislation.
If you desire to be a cultivator, distributor, or supplier of recreational cannabis in Germany, reach out to Higher Yields Consulting. Our consultants have worked with cannabis firms around the world and can help you prepare for the eventual legalization of recreational cannabis in Germany.
In the meantime, there are opportunities to get into the country’s medicinal cannabis market.
When it comes to medical marijuana, Germany regulates its cannabis through the BfArM under the German Narcotics Law (BtMG).
Specifically, the Cannabis Agency is in charge of the medicinal cannabis market in Germany, but the BfArM places many restrictions on entering the cannabis industry.
Domestic producers are granted four-year contracts and are strictly limited in the type of cannabis it can supply, the strength of the cannabis and its CBD content, and the amount of cannabis it can produce and provide to the German government.
Last year, Germany saw its first distribution of German-grown medicinal cannabis in pharmacies.
Until recently, all cannabis in Germany was imported primarily from Canada and the Netherlands. And still, most medical marijuana in Germany is supplied by imports.
Companies are put through rigorous requirements to prove they can handle the contract.
If you’re interested in exporting medicinal cannabis to Germany, our experts can help make that dream a reality. Having navigated the cannabis laws of countries around the world, our cannabis consultants will prepare your company for this lucrative venture.
The Future of Cannabis in Germany
In 2021, the German government contracted with the three domestic cultivators to supply 10,400 kilograms of cannabis over the next four years — not including import numbers or taking into consideration domestic demand for recreational cannabis once it is federally legalized.
In other words, whether we’re talking recreational or medical marijuana, Germany has limitless potential for a future cannabis industry.
Whether you’re trying to get an early jump on Germany’s pending recreational cannabis industry, get in on importing medicinal cannabis into Germany, or become approved for domestic cultivation, the experts at Higher Yields Consulting will be there to guide you every step of the way.
It is critical that anyone interested in joining — and being successful in — Germany’s cannabis industry has a full understanding of the country’s cannabis laws, regulations, and requirements. Our cannabis consultants have that knowledge and can help you realize your vision of cannabusiness ownership.
Last Updated August 2022.
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