Medical cannabis demand, imports continue to climb in Germany

While Germany is on monitor to grow to be one of many largest federally authorized medical marijuana markets in the world, a scarcity of publicly out there knowledge on consumption makes it troublesome for corporations to assess the precise market alternatives.

Unlike Health Canada, German authorities don’t publish centralized statistical info of the variety of sufferers or quantity of medical cannabis bought inside a given interval.

However, the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) does publish knowledge on insurance coverage reimbursement for medical cannabis – 30.eight million euros ($36.2 million) for almost 80,000 prescriptions in the course of the first half of 2018 – that may function an indicator of market demand.

Cannabis flower represented 43%, with reimbursements totaling 13.three million euros for the six-month interval.  Based on the typical retail worth (barely above 20 euros per gram), roughly 100 kilograms per 30 days of medical cannabis flower was reimbursed in Germany through the first half of 2018.

And gross sales trajectory is rising, which suggests Germany will want to continue to look elsewhere to meet the rising demand – even because the nation is making an attempt to get its home cultivation program off the bottom.

Earlier this summer time, the Netherlands agreed to improve annual exports of medical cannabis to Germany from 700 kilograms to 1,500 kilograms.

During the primary half of 2018, Germany imported 1.62 metric tons (1.eight tons) of cannabis, in accordance to commerce publication Apotheke Adhoc. About 60% of these imports got here from Canada and 40% from the Netherlands.

Canopy Growth, one of many largest Canadian cannabis corporations exporting to Germany, reported that it bought a mean of 70.5 kilograms a month to German MMJ companies in the course of the first half of the yr at a mean worth of $13.50 per gram.

The retail markup almost doubles that worth for sufferers and insurers.

Demand by product

While the reimbursement of cannabis flower greater than doubled from the primary quarter to the second, reimbursement of “cannabis preparations” decreased.

Cannabis preparations embrace:

  • Medicine containing Dronabinol, produced by the German firm Bionorica.
  • Imported Tilray extracts. To date, solely Tilray exports extracts to Germany; the opposite suppliers export solely flower. (Tilray additionally exports flower.)
  • Ground cannabis flower, as prescribed by a doctor.

Authorities from the GKV-Spitzenverband advised Marijuana Business Daily they haven’t any means of figuring out the proportion of every of those three merchandise inside the preparations class.

But an evaluation of Tilray’s newest monetary outcomes exhibits the corporate exported lower than 500,000 euros value of product to a number of nations. That complete is lower than 5% of the greater than 10 million euros of cannabis preparations reimbursed in Germany through the first half of the yr.

Because floor cannabis flower is never prescribed, a lot of the cannabis preparations reimbursements doubtless come from Dronabinol merchandise made in Germany.

While the Statutory Health Insurance covers about 90% of Germany’s inhabitants, it has been reported that a few third of the purposes for reimbursement of cannabis prescriptions aren’t profitable.

The nation has no means of monitoring sufferers who independently pay for his or her medical cannabis prescriptions.

The federal authorities replies

The German authorities says it needs to meet a few of the market demand for medical marijuana with home grows and has set a deadline of Nov. 5 for purposes to take part in the primary spherical of allowing.

But the primary try to situation permits final yr was derailed by lawsuits, so there’s some skepticism concerning the willingness of the federal government to absolutely implement the medical cannabis regulation.

In specific, the Free Democratic Party of Germany raised questions concerning the authorities’s general strategy, although most of the queries have been addressed by means of modifications to the preliminary bid course of:

  • One of the criticisms of the primary tender was that it allowed the cultivation of solely 6,600 kilograms of medical cannabis flower over a interval of 4 years. The new tender elevated that amount to 10,400 kilograms, with the potential for growing it a further 30% if wanted.
  • German authorities clarified that the nation gained’t export any medical cannabis. In case of overproduction, extra product shall be destroyed.
  • In the earlier public tender, proving expertise in rising medical cannabis underneath sure circumstances was required. In the brand new software, corporations can fulfill the minimal necessities by proving expertise rising different medicinal crops.
  • Depending on the outcomes of the tender, there shall be a minimal of three corporations and a most of 13 rising medical marijuana in Germany, with complete yearly manufacturing of two,600 kilograms at the beginning.


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