Cannabis - "Made in Germany"
For the first time, medical cannabis cultivated in Germany can be bought and sold by local pharmacies, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) announced on Wednesday. Previously, pharmacies had to use imports when selling medical cannabis. It's now over: from now on you can obtain the flower directly in Germany from a federally mandated cannabis agency.
The Cannabis Agency was founded in 2017 with the entry into force of the “Cannabis as Medicine” law. Since then, doctors can prescribe medicinal cannabis flowers or cannabis extracts with a prescription for narcotics, for example to relieve pain in seriously ill people. The drug is sold by prescription and only in pharmacies.
Three companies in Germany cultivate on behalf of the cannabis agency located at the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, as announced by the Bonn authority. Pharmacies can use the portal of Cansativa GmbH to buy medical marijuana from one of three contract growers, Aurora Cannabis and Tilray, respectively, and the other is German company Demecan.
The three companies were chosen to cultivate marijuana in Germany in 2019, after a long delayed application process, to supply products for the largest medical cannabis market in Europe.
Cansativa, based in Mörfelden-Walldorf, won a tender last year to become the exclusive distributor of all cannabis grown in Germany. From now on, cannabis per gram is sold to pharmacies at a price of 4,30 euros without deductible. The aim of culture in Germany is to also contribute to patient care, explained the Federal Institute. The total quantity of 10,4 tonnes of medicinal cannabis cultivated in Germany is spread over four years at 2,6 tonnes each. This contract will last four years.
Until now, all of the country's legal medical cannabis has been imported
While local production will help pharmacies meet demand, the country is likely to need some imports for years to come. In 2020, the German market imported a record 9 kilograms, according to data from BfArM. The German medical cannabis market is growing, but remains small by North American standards. To put the market in perspective, more cannabis (249 kilograms) has been reimbursed by Veterans Affairs Canada than was imported into Germany last year.