What Happens When Germany Has One Million Cannabis Patients?
Germany – the EU’s most populous state with 82 million people – is about to offer cannabis on medical insurance. When that happens, demand will soar.
Germany’s lower house of parliament passed a bill legalizing the production, sale and use of medical marijuana on January 19th, 2017.
The bill is restricted to the sale and use of cannabis to patients, and there is no provision for home growing. This means that all cannabis (sold legally) in Germany will come via a doctor’s prescription and from a pharmacy – just like any other prescription drug.
This ensures that the cannabis distributed is of a consistent quality and, most importantly, a consistent strength. It doesn’t ensure that it is especially interesting for cannabis connoisseurs or recreational users in terms of look, taste, smell or effects.
But thanks to the German bill, cannabis will be available through health insurance plans, which is a good thing as currently what is available in the pharmacy is a lot more expensive than what you can buy on the streets.
“Those who are severely ill need to get the best possible treatment and that includes health insurance funds paying for cannabis as a medicine for those who are chronically ill if they can’t be effectively treated any other way,” said Health Minister Hermann Groehe to Reuters.
Beginning last year, Germany has been distributing cannabis flowers through pharmacies on a case per case basis. This created a sizeable market of a few thousand patients that – due to the fact that Germany does not currently allow the cultivation of cannabis – is met through imports from (legal) cannabis producing countries, such as the Netherlands and Canada.