Germany Opens Up Medical Marijuana Market with Rx Changes
January 23rd, 2017
Policy, Top News
Germany’s parliament voted unanimously to legalize the use of medical marijuana in a move that could signal big changes in Europe. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, individuals with multiple sclerosis and other severe illnesses will have access to medical marijuana that’s covered by health insurance with a prescription. The new law, which was first proposed last May and broadly supported by both parties, is slated to go into effect in March 2017.
“It is a historic day for patients in Germany, and, as one of the only licensed producers in the country, we are proud to be a part of it,” said Patrick Hoffman, Executive Partner of Pedanios, a provider of medical marijuana under a restrictive program covering only about 1,000 German patients that had to pay for the drug out of pocket.
As part of the new law, Germany will begin developing a state-regulated program to cultivate marijuana and ensure its quality and safety, which could be similar to Canada’s efforts to do the same with its AMCPR program. Until then, the country will import cannabis from other countries where the drug has already been legalized, such as Canada.
“The approval of this landmark bill is a watershed moment for German patients, Cronos, and cannabis advocates around the world,” said Mike Groenstein, CEO of Cronos Group, which is an exclusive supplier to Pedanios. “It marks a significant development in our shared vision with Pedanios to offer patients access to an insurance-covered alternative.”
Cronos Group is currently a supplier to Germany’s market through its relationship with Pedanios. With over 125 acres of land, Cronos is licensed to produce about 2,600 kilograms of cannabis per year in Canada through two licensed producers that it owns. The company also has an equity interest in three other licensed producers and two applicants, which has enabled it to build an iconic brand in the space as a market leader.
As the European Union’s largest member state, Germany has set a precedent for the region in much the same way that California did when legalizing the drug back in 2004. Many other countries in the European Union could follow Germany’s lead and create a regional market for the drug that mirror’s statewide efforts in the United States. These developments could open the door to a significant market opportunity for investors down the road.
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