Germany is considered one of the largest and leading economies in the European Union, but its cannabis market is still experiencing a few difficulties regarding self-sustainability.
In 2017, following a unanimous vote by the German parliament, the medical use of cannabis was legalized in Germany, allowing millions of patients to legally acquire the product in pharmacies and dispensaries around the country, provided they present a valid medical prescription. This was considered a major step for cannabis acceptance in Europe, and a great help for all the patients needing treatment or relief for various conditions.
However, as a result, the market demand grew beyond expectations. Given that the country’s cannabis supply chain was severely underdeveloped for the task of meeting these demands, the German pharmacies started experiencing severe, very frequent medical cannabis shortages, and the prices increased beyond what was acceptable. Even nowadays, the problem remains to be solved.
This happens because Germany’s domestic cultivation of cannabis is close to non-existent. Most of the medical cannabis in the German market needs to be imported from abroad, usually from Netherlands and Canada, and the import rate simply isn’t enough to meet the German consumers’ demands for the product.
Nonetheless, this all might be about to change. According to the Cannabis Agency, a specialized entity responsible for cannabis cultivation and distribution regulations within the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, there are limited available licenses (around 13 in total) for cannabis cultivation in Germany ready to be attributed to suited bidders. So far, there are 79 bidders and the Agency is evaluating every case, in order to decide which ones are suited and can meet the required cultivation standards. A decision is expected by mid or late 2019.
The cannabis cultivation standards and requirements are very strict, and the licenses will be very limited, but since this is a very lucrative business, there are national companies already available to provide the proper growth conditions and environment to the selected bidders, such as Weiss Technik.
These advances are expected to boost Germany’s medical cannabis market to the next level, and experts already claim this might become one of the biggest and most lucrative medical cannabis markets in Europe.