Tag: Germany

germany flag

Minister Of Justice In Germany‘s Largest State Expresses Support For Cannabis Legalization

Benjamin Limbach is the new Minister of Justice of North Rhine-Westphalia and has stated that he considers the legalization of cannabis to be a German “right”

In an encouraging development for the recreational cannabis discussion, Benjamin Limbach, the Green Party-affiliated Minister of Justice and member of the state cabinet as of June, has now publicly backed recreational reform. According to Limbach, he will help implement any law the Bundestag passes in Germany’s largest state.

This is encouraging news, particularly given the battles on the ground so far in the state also referred to as “NRW,” where the city of Dusseldorf was forced to reverse its ban on CBD just last year after losing in court.

Will There Be NIMBY Issues in Germany?

While politicians of all stripes are beginning to recognize that backing the legalization of cannabis is a winning issue, there is also no doubt that reform will also, like it has in other places, instigate more local backlashes to continue to ban the legal sales of adult-use cannabis. There may also be local bans on cultivation and manufacturing.

While cannabis legalization is increasingly popular with the public as a whole, there are still many who believe that this is not a positive development.

So far, of course, this issue has not been an issue in Germany, but that is because nothing has become concrete. In neighbouring Holland, local communities protested local cannabis cultivation farms after they had been selected in a national bid.

National Law, Local Regulations

One of the more interesting questions that has so far been left unanswered is whether local jurisdictions and municipalities will be able to ban either local production or sales once recreational reform becomes the law of the land. In California, for example, despite having a legitimate legal market since 1996 and a recreational one since 2016, there are still counties and municipalities that have banned dispensaries outright.

Given the highly emotional response to cannabis use that is still present everywhere, this is likely to become a political issue post-legalization. In the meantime, continue to expect high-ranking politicians who are in the ruling government coalition to publicly support the advance of the Traffic Light Coalition policy. For the very first time aus Deutschland at least, supporting recreational reform has become not only a political game-changer but an issue politicians will back to bolster their careers.


US Germany

Germany Or The U.S.: Who Will Go First On Federal Cannabis Reform?

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act introduced in the U.S. Senate in late July, removes cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and allows states to legalize recreational cannabis. How are American developments stacking up to current events aus Deutschland?

Ironically, just two days after Burkhard Blienert addressed the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin about pending German reform and outlined a rough schedule for legislative passage, a cannabis reform bill was introduced in the US Senate by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

A Side By Side Comparison

While German politicians are still unwilling to unveil details of the pending legislation until later this fall, the US version is now available for review and debate. The American bill specifically proposes removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act – an issue still of some contention in Germany. Beyond this, it would create a tax on cannabis product sales, expunge the records of those with past cannabis convictions, and allows federal prisoners serving time for nonviolent cannabis convictions to petition for resentencing. The legislation, if passed, would also establish a national regulatory framework to protect public health and safety.

In Europe, things are still less specific, although first-of-their-kind multilateral talks have now been launched between Malta, Luxembourg, and Germany. Beyond the information gleaned from the hearings in June, European lawmakers are now considering how to proceed not only on a national but regional level.

One of the standing questions on this side of the pond is how individual countries and the region itself will handle the actual legalization itself, including removing cannabis from sovereign narcotics laws as well as regulations at the EU level. There seems to be less interest in dealing with issues like racial justice, although there will clearly be a discussion about how to handle those with both convictions and those who are currently in jail for nonviolent cannabis offenses.

The discussion about taxing cannabis based on the levels of THC found in products and plants appears, for now, to be just a European debate.

The Likely Path To Passage

Right now, the US Senate is the main battleground for cannabis reform. Various bills have passed the House over the last decade only to be shot down in the Senate. It is also unclear whether Schumer has enough bipartisan support to carry the bill through to passage this time – and whether, once also passed in the House, the reconciliation between both bills could happen before the midterm elections.

On the other hand, the German timetable for reform is more likely to create a bill that passes both the Bundestag and Bundesrat, and further on a timetable now alluded to by national politicians.

For these reasons, while it is also very plausible that both debates will drive each other, it seems that Germany (and beyond that Europe) is likely to take the plunge into recreational reform on a schedule ahead of the US.

Germany, united states

Registration International Cannabis Business Conference Berlin 2022

Recapping A Historic International Cannabis Business Conference In Berlin

Whether you are a passionate cannabis enthusiast or just a passive cannabis industry observer, you are surely well aware of the fact that Germany is trending towards implementing adult-use cannabis legalization, and with it, a regulated adult-use industry. Germany may not be the first nation to pursue such a nationwide public policy and industry evolution, however, it is the most significant effort of its kind to date.

Germany is home to the fourth-largest economy on planet earth, with only the economies of the United States, China, and Japan ranking higher (as measured by GDP). Cannabis may be legal at the state level in some parts of the U.S., yet federal legalization still remains out of sight and nationwide cannabis sales are even further out of reach. China and Japan have no current plans to legalize cannabis, and for that matter, the rest of the countries on the list of ‘top ten economies on earth’ will maintain prohibition for the foreseeable future with the exception of Canada.

Canada is currently the only G-7 nation that allows regulated adult-use sales and has served as the top ‘legal cannabis economy’ on the planet since launching nationwide adult-use sales in late 2018. Once Germany launches nationwide cannabis sales, which could come as early as 2023, it will instantly take over the title of being home to the largest cannabis market in the world.

Germany’s economy is over twice the size of Canada’s economy, and the same is true when comparing the two nations’ populations. Canada only shares a physical border with one country, the United States, and many border states now have their own adult-use industries. Germany, on the other hand, shares physical borders with nine countries – the most in Europe. Barring any unforeseen policy changes, Germany will be an adult-use sales oasis in the region to a large extent, with Germany and the surrounding countries’ populations adding up to roughly a quarter billion people. The significance of legalization in Germany cannot be overstated.

Georg Wurth on stage Berlin ICBC 2022

Given the context of what is going on in Germany right now, Berlin served as an amazing backdrop to the International Cannabis Business Conference which took place on July 19-20th at the Hotel Estrel. It was the fifth installment of the B2B conference in Berlin, the largest of its type in Europe, and with so much excitement about what is going on right now in Germany, it proved to be an experience of a lifetime.

The attention of virtually every member of the emerging global cannabis industry has been squarely on Germany this year, and it was very evident throughout the conference that the excitement level was off the charts with so many people finally meeting in person to discuss everything. You could really sense that everyone was eager to get back to attending events in person, to learn more about what is going on in Germany and Europe, and to share what is going on in their own respective jurisdictions.

A major theme of this year’s historic conference involved cohorts representing over 85 countries traveling to the event, creating almost a ‘United Nations of cannabis’ environment. One thing that we have always strived to do at the International Cannabis Business Conference is to connect people from all over the globe, and it was exciting to see that on full display at this year’s Berlin conference on such a grand scale.

expo floor

Germany, for obvious reasons, is a very exciting place for cannabis and what is going on there will have a butterfly effect on the rest of the world. However, there is plenty of other significant things happening elsewhere on the planet, and that was evident in much of the networking that occurred throughout the two-day B2B conference. Entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors, and industry service providers from nearly every corner of the world were comparing notes, striking deals, and discussing plans for the future.

It was very inspiring to see each and every time, and it was truly symbolic of the current state of the cannabis industry. The cannabis industry is going global. Historically, legal cannabis markets were entirely confined by national borders. Exports and imports have slowly ramped up in some nations over time, but make no mistake – the future of the cannabis industry will largely play out on the world stage and the cannabis plant is going to go mainstream at a global level in the coming years, which was talked about over and over at the Berlin conference by participants in discussions that often included representatives from multiple continents.

burkhard blienert icbc international cannabis business conference berlin 2022

The most historic moment of the conference, and arguably the most historic moment of any cannabis conference to date, came via the day one keynote address provided by Mr. Burkhard Blienert. Mr. Blienert currently serves as Germany’s top drug policy official and is overseeing the nation’s adult-use cannabis legalization and industry implementation process. It is the first time in history that a currently-serving official at that level has ever spoken at a cannabis conference, and right in the middle of the public policy reform process no less. Hearing from Mr. Blienert in the midst of everything that is going on in Germany and Europe was truly special and an experience that attendees will no doubt cherish for years to come.

The two-day conference was packed with other world-class speakers and panels, videos of which can be found on the International Cannabis Business Conference YouTube channel. Topics for panels and presenters included, but are not limited to:

  • Ongoing activism and advocacy
  • Medical cannabis policy
  • Cannabis policy in Germany
  • Shifting cannabis policies in Europe
  • Evolving industry standards and regulations
  • Emerging markets
  • Supply chain and logistics
  • Legalization models
  • Cultivation
  • Sustainability
  • Consumer trends
  • Investing opportunities

If you have been involved in cannabis for any significant duration of time, then you know firsthand that there are certain times and places when you realize that you are in the midst of history being made. For people in attendance at the International Cannabis Business Conference B2B event in Berlin this summer, it was absolutely one of those times. The networking and learning opportunities were unmatched, and never before has such a wide array of cannabis industry representatives from so many different countries come together under one roof at the same time.

Morgan Heritage

As always, it isn’t an International Cannabis Business Conference event without an amazing after-party, and this year’s after-party was particularly epic. Multi-Grammy awarding-winning reggae band Morgan Heritage kicked off their European tour at this year’s after-party event in Berlin. They were joined on stage by reggae pioneer Rocker-T, and collectively they rocked the house. The concert in such an intimate setting was the perfect way to unwind and celebrate after networking and learning. International Cannabis Business Conference founder Alex Rogers also rocked the mic on stage with the crew for a time, proving once again that the International Cannabis Business Conference works hard and plays hard.

The International Cannabis Business Conference team is already working hard on the next conference in Berlin which is currently slated to take place June 29-30, 2023. It’s quite possible that it could be the first conference in the new adult-use legalization era in Germany, which is an extremely exciting thought. With so much going on in the emerging global cannabis industry right now, particularly in Europe, the 2023 conference in Berlin is a must-attend. We look forward to seeing you there!


berlin, Germany, international cannabis business conference


The Future Of Cannabis Dispensing

I am proud to state that I am on an ever-growing list of lucky people that get to live where cannabis is legal for both medical and adult use. Oregon, where I live, legalized cannabis for medical use in 1998 and then for adult use in 2014. I am extremely thankful that I do not have to be subjected to the inhumane public policy that is cannabis prohibition.

Additionally, I am very thankful that I can make legal purchases at regulated dispensaries. Before legal dispensaries existed in my area I had to make my purchases from the unregulated market where options are limited and customer service is basically nonexistent. Being able to walk into a fixed storefront that has set hours and choose from a buffet of cannabis products is an amazing thing that every consumer and patient should be able to legally do.

With all of that being said, there’s one major hiccup to the dispensary model that exists in most places where cannabis commerce is allowed to operate. For those that have never visited a dispensary, it can prove to be a very time-consuming ordeal, especially on a busy day.

If I had to estimate it, from the time that I pull up to a dispensary until I finalize my purchase it takes anywhere from tens of minutes all the way up to an hour. I have family in Las Vegas that go to very popular dispensaries that tourists shop at, and they have told me that their purchasing experiences take well longer than an hour from start to finish.

Part of what takes so long is waiting in line, however, at the heart of the issue is how inefficient the storage and retrieval of cannabis products is at virtually every dispensary. To be clear, I am not talking about the decision-making process. I am referring to after the decision is made regarding what to purchase, how long it takes for a budtender to compile everything, and if it’s flower having to weigh it out and package it all. If it’s a product that isn’t in the display case and the budtender needs to go to the back to a secure area to retrieve something, that just makes things take even longer.

Not only does all of that take a long time, speaking from personal experience, it is kind of awkward standing there at the register in silence waiting for what was purchased to be handed to me. It’s definitely better than living under prohibition, however, there is clearly plenty of room to boost efficiency when it comes to storing and retreiving cannabis products.

With that in mind, I am really impressed by a new invention that is debuting at the International Cannabis Business Conference this week in Berlin, Germany. The CANNASTORE is the first automated dispensing system specifically designed for cannabis products and is sure to revolutionize the cannabis dispensing process.

The hardware system in its standard design is already used in several thousand German pharmacies, however, this new version is even more impressive. The CANNASTORE was tested and developed over two years, and is capable of dispensing products within 6 to 12 seconds. That works out to 500 units in an hour. The CANNASTORE can hold up to 40,000 units before needing to be restocked.

The timing of the CANNASTORE’s debut is in itself very significant given the current political and industry context in Germany. It is no secret that Germany is going to launch an adult-use cannabis industry in the near future, and whether that is this year or next year one thing is for sure – once sales do launch a lot of people are going to be purchasing cannabis in Germany, and being able to serve up cannabis in as efficient of a way as possible is vital to helping prevent bottlenecks at the point of purchase.

The CANNASTORE is not only going to help customers’ purchasing experiences, it is also going to directly contribute to helping Germany’s cannabis industry reach its full potential and the significance of that cannot be overstated.

cannastore, Germany

gavel courtroom court

Cutting Edge German Cannabis Possession Case Decided On Appeal

A Lübeck appeals court has exonerated a father and son of possession on the basis of “emergency” treatment. The case may help other German patients beat criminal charges

On the last day of May, a regional appeals court in Lübeck (in the north of Germany) published what might yet become a bellwether cannabis case. As a result, it will also be important to patients across the country for at least the next 18 months until recreational cannabis reform actually kicks in. Namely, the court found that both a father who sourced hundreds of grams for his seriously ill son and the son were innocent of violations of the German Narcotics Act.

In doing so, the court annulled a District Court ruling which held that the two defendants were guilty of six counts of possessing large amounts of narcotics. The pair faced large fines.

The regional court acquitted both men because the possession of cannabis was justified under German law as an “emergency.” Namely, the son suffers from painful spasticity, the amount prescribed for the same was not sufficient to properly treat the symptoms, and the father obtained cannabis for his son to fill the gap.

What makes this case stand out is that the son needed six to seven grams of cannabis a day to properly treat symptoms (which is on the higher end of reimbursement, to begin with). Beyond this, the court also recognized that health insurance companies are increasingly stringent with cannabis approvals, even when justified.

In this case, the court ruled that any criminal penalties otherwise justified are overridden by a critical and unfilled medical need.

A Terrible Predicament

While recreational cannabis reform is clearly moving in Germany, the reality is that it cannot move fast enough for those who are, like the defendant and his caregiver in this case, chronically ill but still not covered by public healthcare. Such patients are directly in the line of fire – which has not been averted yet – by a government that recognizes that recreational reform must happen soon and medical reform is now five years old.

It is bad enough that casual recreational users are still directly in the line of federal drug charges. But for a country where medical use is theoretically legal, there needs to be an amnesty issued soon to protect those who may yet be unfortunate enough to be charged.

This case, as a result, may well show up in the defense of literally hundreds if not thousands of patients whose cases are still pending before full reform becomes the law of the land.


germany flag

The German Cannabis Legalization Hearings

The several weeks-long hearing process has now come to an end. These are the takeaway high points

The hearings on the legalization of recreational cannabis are now a thing of the past. Announced in early June, they have now taken place and some clarity about the direction and timing of the German rec market is now emerging.

The first, most important takeaway is that Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and the Federal Drug Commissioner Burkhard Blienert (who will also keynote the ICBC conference in Berlin in just a few weeks) have committed to making recreational cannabis a reality.

The importance of this commitment cannot be understated. Unlike US politics, the German federal government is more consensus-oriented. If two major leaders announce an initiative, chances are it will happen (although of course it does not always – see previous Health Minister Jens Spahn’s many pronouncements about the digitalization of healthcare). That said, Lauterbach also mentioned again that he had undergone a change in perspective about legalization unlike his counterparts in the Green and FDP parties – both of whom have been pro-legalization for quite some time now.

“The risks of the current situation are greater than the legal levy,” he said. “The coordinates have shifted in favour of legalization.” Blienart went a bit further than his boss. According to him, what is about to occur is a “paradigm shift” on the topic of cannabis.

For these reasons alone, the signs are here that what these two men have now pronounced will in fact occur.

The Timetable of Change

By autumn, according to Lauterbach, an overview paper discussing key points of the hearings (which were heard from 200 experts across a range of topics) will be released publicly. This in turn will lead to the drafting of the law to legalize recreational use. The actual debate and presumed passage of the bill have now been pushed back to the beginning of 2023. This means it is unlikely that an actual market will begin here before the beginning of 2024.

The intent, just like it was on the medical plunge, is to make this a four-year experiment that will be re-evaluated after the first period is over.

Other Key Takeaways

Industry sources have consistently spoken up about the need for a tax levy that allows legal cannabis to be price competitive with its black-market counterpart. There have been some discussions on how to manage the potency of product. One way that would not create regulatory but rather market control of price and potency would be to increase the price (and applicable tax) for products with a higher level of THC. This presumably also leaves the door open to a conversation beyond flower that moves quickly into both concentrates and edibles).

Beyond this, advertising is likely to be a part of the mix. A complete ban on the same will make it hard for the market to establish itself – and therefore is probably unlikely. This is especially true as German pharmacies, including cannabis specialty pharmacies, do not seem to want to be on the front lines of the rec experiment, unlike Switzerland.

Online sales are also likely to be verboten – at least at first.
Stay tuned. The results of the paper when published will have far more concrete suggestions as well as predict more accurately what will be both in (and out) of the now pending and absolutely historic law to make Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy, a green and cannabis-friendly place.


Germany Drug Commissioner Czar Burkhard Blienert

Germany’s Drug Czar To Keynote International Cannabis Business Conference In Berlin

Germany is in the midst of the most robust and complex cannabis policy and industry endeavor in the history of humankind. Policymakers and industry regulators in Germany have worked diligently since the 2021 election to craft the laws, rules, and regulations that will eventually govern a national adult-use cannabis industry.

Given the size of Germany’s economy and its geographical position in the heart of the European continent, Germany’s adult-use industry will instantly become the largest on the planet once it is launched. Currently, only Canada has a nationwide adult-use cannabis industry that is open to anyone of legal age and involves products that are not just of the low-THC variety.

Legalization can never come soon enough, however, the pace at which Germany’s new coalition government has moved on the adult-use cannabis front is considerable given that the results of the 2021 election are not even one year old. Lawmakers and regulators in Germany want to legalize cannabis in as sensible, effective, and efficient of a manner as possible, and that is not an easy thing to do in a nation that is home to over 83 million people and shares 9 borders with other countries.

Commissioner Burkhard Blienert

Fortunately for Germany, they have a very qualified and brilliant Commissioner on Narcotic Drugs at the Federal Ministry of Health helping oversee the legalization process, Mr. Burkhard Blienert. We are extremely proud and honored to announce that Mr. Blienert will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin July 19-20, 2022.

Commissioner Blienert’s resume is extensive, as he has dealt intensively with questions of drug and addiction policy for roughly ten years. In the 18th electoral term (2013-2017) he was a member of the German Bundestag and represented his parliamentary group as a full member of the Health Committee, the Culture and Media Committee and the Budget Committee. Mr. Blienert was his group’s rapporteur on drug and addiction issues during this period.

Since 1990, Mr. Blienert has been a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). He has worked for the SPD party executive committee and served as policy officer of the SPD group in the Land parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, responsible for school and education, sports and petitions.

Mr. Burkhard Blienert studied politics, modern history and sociology (Master’s) and completed the first state examination for lower secondary education in social sciences, history and pedagogy. As a member of the German Bundestag, Blienert sat on the Board of Trustees of the Federal Agency for Civic Education (BpB), on the Administrative Council of the German National Library and the Hörfunkrat Deutschlandradio broadcasting council as well as on the Administrative Council of the German Federal Film Board (FFA).

Currently, he is a member of the Supervisory Board of the Federal Cultural Federation, the National Society of Labour Welfare (AWO), the United Services Union (ver.di), the association “Against Oblivion – For Democracy” of the German Thomas Mann Society as well as the Paderborn district council.

History In The Making

Commissioner Blienert is not new to our conference. Last year he participated in a truly historic panel in which, for the first time ever, representatives from every major political party in Germany took part in a cannabis-only policy discussion. The discussion was held mere weeks before the 2021 election, the results of which we now have the benefit of knowing.

We are very proud of the fact that much of what was discussed at our panel in 2021 has since become part of the mainstream cannabis policy conversation in Germany. We look forward to continuing the cannabis conversation at this year’s B2B event in July where our schedule will once again feature a number of policymakers that are directly involved in the effort to legalize cannabis in Germany. Attendees will literally be able to get the most up-to-date information regarding what is going on in Germany directly from people involved in the process, including Germany’s current Drug Czar.

In addition to the Berlin B2B event, the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) will also offer a one-day Global Investment Forum (GIF) on July 18, 2022. The ICBC Global Investment Forum in Berlin will feature hand-picked cannabis companies participating in a pitch session in front of top investors on the ICBC Main Stage. It is a tremendous opportunity for cannabis companies in the emerging cannabis industry to showcase their products/services in front of seasoned industry investors. The pitch session is also open to service providers looking for reliable and high-end clients.

At the conclusion of the B2B event, attendees will then be able to enjoy one of the International Cannabis Business Conference’s famous after-parties. This year’s B2B event after-party in Berlin will feature the multi-Grammy award-winning reggae band Morgan Heritage.

Over 5,000 attendees and 350 companies sponsors and exhibitors are expected at the Berlin International Cannabis Business B2B Conference alone. International Cannabis Business Conference events are attended by leading policymakers, executives, and entrepreneurs from all over the world, with over 85 countries being represented at previous events. The event series is the best way for innovators and inventors to get their products or services in front of the top influencers and decision-makers in the cannabis space, as well as for investors to network with aspiring entrepreneurs.

A cannabis industry revolution is sweeping Europe, and Germany is at the center of it. If you’re serious about succeeding in the cannabis industry, check out the International Cannabis Business Conference’s flagship program in Berlin in July. Leading cannabis entrepreneurs and policymakers from around the world will be in attendance and the networking and educational opportunities will be unparalleled. Secure tickets now before they are sold out!

Burkhard Blienert, Germany

cannabis flower plants buds garden

Ten New German Government Positions For Cannabis Legalization Announced

The government has budgeted ten new positions to oversee the legalization of cannabis

If there is a “sure thing” in the world of German politics, it is when budgets are involved in pending policy. That is why, given all such signs this spring, cannabis legalization is pretty much assured – even if the details are not.

Earlier this spring, the Bundestag budget committee threatened the Ministry of Health that it would withhold its PR budget if a passable bill were not introduced by this summer. Now it appears there is even more movement on the fiscal side of things. Namely, during federal budget discussions, ten positions have been funded to oversee the process of legalization. Two are within BfArM – the medicines and medical devices agency that currently oversees the medical market – and eight are within the Ministry of Health.

In doing so, Germany seems to be taking a page out of the Canadian model to date. Currently the government’s “Cannabis Agency” is located within BfArM. However, this agency is an “independent authority” within the Ministry of Health’s “portfolio.” The Cannabis Agency was set up in 2017 as the government authorized the cultivation of medical cannabis domestically and then launched a tender bid for licenses for the same.

The process was also an almost complete disaster. The issued bid was for a tender that was too small for demand, and lawsuits dragged the selection process out for almost two years.

At least this time, the government is not making noises about excluding German citizens and firms from the process.

What To Expect

While details so far have been missing in action, there are a few developments which seem assured. The first is that private dispensaries will be licensed – and the people who run them trained in basic narcotics handling techniques. Whether dispensary employees will have to go through some kind of pharmacy training does not seem so outlandish.

The second thing to expect is that this process is going to be highly bureaucratic – and if the medical tender was any indication – may end up in court. There are several reasons for this, starting with the possibility that the first domestic cultivators and distributors for the recreational market will be drawn from the ranks of those who already have licenses.

If this is the case, there is also every possibility that the entire process will be sued again – starting with challenges under anti-monopoly legislation.

Regardless, there is perhaps one sure thing in all of this. Expect the unexpected. More developments soon.


German Parliament

Germany Moving Forward With Legal Cannabis Sales Plan

Germany’s Health Ministry announced today that it will start holding hearings tomorrow to discuss various aspects of legalizing cannabis sales for adult-use nationwide. It’s a huge announcement and moves Germany one step closer to inevitably launching legal adult-use sales nationwide.

As of right now, only one country, Canada, allows legal adult-use sales nationwide to anyone of legal age. Uruguay also has legalized cannabis for adult use, however, sales are limited to the citizens of Uruguay. Malta has also passed a legalization measure, however, Malta’s current legalization model does not permit sales.

Global Economic Powerhouse

Germany is home to the fourth-largest economy on earth, and its population is more than twice the size of Canada. It appears that, at least for the time being, when Germany launches legal adult-use sales it will be a cannabis oasis of sorts, having a virtual adult-use sales monopoly on the continent.

With that in mind, Germany’s adult-use industry will be massive and unlike anything we have ever seen in the global cannabis community. The hearings that will start tomorrow will involve hundreds of representatives from various backgrounds, including representatives from the medical and legal fields.

What Will The Hearings Involve?

Much of what will be discussed will apparently revolve around quality control and limiting youth access to cannabis, and the current plan seems to involve a comprehensive evaluation four years after the launch of sales. In total, there will be five hearings and all of them are expected to be completed by the end of this month.

What is eventually discussed at the hearings will then be used to craft national rules, regulations, and laws that pertain to adult-use cannabis sales. The sales component is just one facet of Germany’s effort to legalize cannabis for adult use.

Leaders in Germany previously indicated that home cultivation would also be a part of an eventual legalization measure that will eventually be introduced, which is expected to happen as soon as this summer. The significance of legalization in Germany cannot be overstated. It will usher in a new era for the cannabis industry, in addition to encouraging every other country in Europe to end prohibition.


berlin germany flag

The Top 20 Cannabis Firms In Germany In 2022

This list of firms currently operating in the regulated cannabis ecosystem and space in Germany are the top companies in the vertical

Make no mistake – the German cannabis industry is going to morph dramatically over the next 24 months. Recreational legalization changes everything!

However, there is likely to be a direct connection between early movers in the medical and recreational space – just because of certification infrastructure and the need to track and trace product.

Here is an alphabetical list of the top 20 cannabis firms aus Deutschland that you almost certainly have heard about before if you follow events and the industry in Europe. You will definitely be hearing more about them in the near future. They range from cultivation, distribution, and manufacturing companies to those that provide vital equipment for the certified industry. And all of them have weathered the dramatic transition in the market here since 2017.


Based in Berlin, this GDP-certified distributor was founded in 2019 by Boris Moshkovits. The company has had many successes so far, including helping to bring the first Australian cultivated cannabis into the German market. Moshkovits is a dedicated cannapreneur and aspires to help normalize the cannabis pipeline into Germany by sourcing high-quality, certified cannabis globally.


Aphria was one of the three firms that won authorization to grow cannabis during the German cultivation bid. They subsequently merged with Tilray, but not before also purchasing the sixth-largest mainstream medical distributor in the country (CC Pharma).

Aurora Cannabis

This Canadian public company also won one of the three cultivation slots in the German cultivation bid. The firm has a footprint across Europe at this point. It was one of the earliest public Canadian companies before establishing itself across the EU over the last five years.

Canify Clinics

This new addition to the medical cannabis clinic and telehealth space in Germany (but an established company in the Danish cannabis space) is entering the market at an interesting time – and going up against several more established competitors. With clinics opening this year in Berlin, Munich, Dusseldorf and just south of Frankfurt, the firm also just acquired a German GDP distributor.


Based in Cologne, the company was one of the first independent, certified, GDP distributors in the country. Founded by David Henn, the company has consistently been at the forefront of industry trends.


Germany’s first publicly traded distributor, importer, and manufacturer, based in Berlin, also has the distinction of being helmed by one of the few women executives in the industry, Pia Marten. The company has also established a Portuguese subsidiary, which is a joint venture with local partners to initially distribute medical cannabis to Portuguese pharmacies.


Located in Frankfurt, Cansativa won the tender issued by BfArM to become the sole distributor for medical cannabis grown in Germany. The company has now successfully raised two rounds of financing, the last from American cannapreneur and rapper, Snoop Dogg.


The founders of the company have extensive experience in the German cannabis industry. They originally founded Pedianos (later acquired by Aurora) as Germany changed its medical law to include cannabis. Cantourage is their second cannabis company. They are also continually bringing in cannabis and cannabinoid medicines from various parts of the world.


Demecan remains the only German-founded cannabis cultivation company. The three founders managed to acquire the license won by Canadian Wayland as the company merged with ICC: Currently they are growing cannabis for the German medical market.

Drapalin Pharmaceuticals

Founded in Munich in 2017 by four childhood friends, the wholesaler and GDP distributor is currently importing cannabis from Lesotho for distribution mainly in Bavaria. The firm also has a range of CBD extracts.

Harter GmbH

Harter does not cultivate or distribute cannabis products – but they do something almost as important. They build drying systems for certified cannabis, with an eye toward also creating a carbon-friendly footprint for the process. The firm has established a global customer base.

HERBLIZ Berlin/NGP Berlin

Berlin-based Herbliz operates in multiple sectors of the emerging cannabis industry, including CBD white and private label manufacturing. In addition to its brand Herbliz, the company also operates a THC-focused medical cannabis business.


Khiron is an interesting hybrid. It is a Canadian public company with cultivation based in Columbia combined with a strong European presence (in Frankfurt). The company is a producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis and commercial CBD products and are also opening specialty clinics in key markets, starting with Latin America and the UK.

LIO Pharmaceuticals GmbH

Based just outside of Düsseldorf in Solingen, Lio is currently a GDP distributor with plans to become Germany’s first GMP white label extraction factory. The company is currently building out its manufacturing facility and distributing medical-grade product.

Nimbus Health/Dr. Reddy’s

Nimbus, founded by two millennial friends in Frankfurt, established itself as a medical specialty distributor in the center of European banking and finance. The company was acquired at the beginning of 2022 by Dr. Reddy’s, a globally known Indian wellness and generic pharmaceutical company.


Sanity Group, a Berlin based health and life-science company founded by Finn Age Hänsel and Fabian Friede in 2018, aims to improve people’s quality of life through the use of cannabinoids and the utilization of the endocannabinoid system. The focus is on pharmaceuticals and medical products (Sanity Medical with Vayamed, AVAAY Medical, Endosane, and others) on the one hand and cannabinoid-based consumer goods (Sanity Care with VAAY and This Place) on the other. Financially and strategically, Sanity Group is backed by investors such as Redalpine, Calyx and Casa Verde Capital (Snoop Dogg).

Storz and Bickel

This eponymous firm is well known globally for its vape products – starting with the ever-amazing “Volcano.” The firm also has the most widely used medically certified vape in the German market. Canopy Growth bought the firm in 2018.


This holding company is comprised of a current portfolio of four firms it has acquired on an aggressive purchasing spree over the last several years including Hempamed, Solidmind Group GmbH, BioCBD and Cannexo GmbH. The company is establishing a broad footprint across the CBD and medical cannabis space with an eye to the opening recreational market.


WEECO is a certified pharmaceutical distributor based in lower Saxony, with an international presence in Denmark, Switzerland, and Greece, selling cannabis-based products worldwide. The company’s mission is to “revive healing powers of Cannabis and help to establish a reliable supply structure for industry and patients.

Four20 Pharma

Four 20 Pharma is a GMP licensed German manufacturer, wholesaler and importer of medicinal cannabis. Since its establishment in 2018, the company has positioned itself as one of the biggest players in the German medicinal cannabis market, with its growth underpinned by the success of its “420 NATURAL” brand, one of the highest selling medicinal cannabis brands in Germany.


German Parliament

Heidi Klum Reportedly Lobbying For Cannabis Legalization In Germany

Pushing for cannabis legalization can come in many forms. Cannabis activists around the globe, out of necessity, have pursued every strategy imaginable in their efforts to try to reform cannabis laws where they live.

In some parts of the world where initiative and referendum processes are in place, activists have gathered signatures in order to put cannabis reform measures in front of voters. It’s largely how cannabis has been legalized at the state level in the United States.

At the national level, legalization has been achieved in Uruguay, Canada, and Malta via the legislative process, meaning, lawmakers passed a legalization measure (not voters). Successful legalization efforts in those countries became a reality largely due to lobbying.

Lobbying lawmakers with the goal of convincing them to pass a legalization measure involves people from all types of backgrounds meeting with lawmakers, educating them, and advocating for reform.

Being that the lobbying process involves getting the ear of one or more lawmakers, obviously, not all lobbyists are seen as being equal. For instance, a country’s famous supermodel is likely to be a bit more persuasive compared to less famous citizens.

With that in mind, there’s a significant political situation developing in Germany where it is being reported that supermodel Heidi Klum recently met with Germany’s current drug czar for the purpose of lobbying in support of legalization. Per RTL (translated from German to English):

“GNTM” boss Heidi Klum (48) came unannounced to the German capital on Friday (May 20) and was seen in the Berlin government district, among other things. The reason: As RTL found out exclusively, Tom Kaulitz ‘s wife (32) is said to be campaigning for the legalization of cannabis .

Current photos of the 48-year-old show her in a colorful pants suit, strolling through Berlin in a good mood. On Friday morning, the mother of four was seen in exactly this outfit, among other things, in front of the office of the federal government’s drug commissioner, Burkhard Blienert (56). As RTL learned from a source from the government circles, she is said to have subsequently met with Member of the Bundestag Andrew Ullmann (59). Is the native Rhinelander aiming for a career in politics? To some extent, this theory could be correct, because she is said to have offered herself in talks with politicians as a supporter of the legalization of cannabis.

It does not appear that any notes have surfaced regarding what was specifically discussed in the private meetings between Klum and German lawmakers. It’s also unclear what is specifically motivating Klum to step up her advocacy efforts.

However, the fact that Klum has emerged as a cannabis legalization lobbyist in Germany can only help bolster the chances of legalization happening sooner rather than later.

Germany, heidi klum

Cannabis Normal! Conference

Attend The Cannabis Normal! Conference In Berlin Next Month

Germany will never become the first country to legalize cannabis for adult use. That designation will forever go to Uruguay. However, legalization in Germany will ultimately prove to be the biggest cannabis prohibition domino to fall when historians look back on the global cannabis reform movement years from now.

Legalization in Germany is going to usher in a new era for cannabis in Europe and the rest of the planet. Germany’s economy is larger than any other economy on earth with the exception of the United States, China, and Japan. The United States is not nearly as close as Germany when it comes to implementing legalization, and China and Japan remain two of the worst places on earth for cannabis policy.

With news recently surfacing that adult-use legalization will be sped up in Germany according to the nation’s Health Minister, and potential budgetary ramifications if that doesn’t happen, reform is closer than ever. When legalization inevitably happens in Germany, it will be truly historic and will speed up reform efforts everywhere else around the globe.

It is extremely important for cannabis advocates and members of the industry to recognize the efforts of those that have helped bring cannabis reform efforts to this point in Germany, and no organization deserves more recognition than the German Cannabis Association.

The German Cannabis Association (DHV) is a professional cannabis advocacy group led by private legalization activists. Their tireless efforts over the course of many years have made a tremendous impact in Germany and have directly contributed to Germany’s current reform momentum.

DHV was originally founded in May 2002, and per its website, DHV “does not serve personal enrichment, but to make progress in hemp politics.” As DHV also points out on its website, it serves as “a counterbalance to corporate interests and fundamentally opposing forces, such as the police unions.” The DHV team does outstanding work, is extremely knowledgeable, and they are on the frontlines of cannabis reform efforts in Germany on a daily basis.

The German Cannabis Association (DHV) is organizing the third edition of the Cannabis Normal! Conference from June 17th to 19th, 2022 in the Alte Münze in Berlin. The conference’s program will largely involve exploring and discussing the intimate details of the upcoming cannabis legalization measure that is expected to be unveiled in Germany as early as this summer.

In addition to discussing the nuanced details of cannabis policy reform in Germany, hemp will also be a major topic at the event with discussions led by well-known guests from science and politics including drug policy spokesman Carmen Wegge (SPD), Dr. Kirsten Kappert-Gonther (Greens), Kristina Lütke (FDP) and Ates Gürpinar (Left).

It is vital that consumers have a voice in the legalization process in Germany, and fortunately, DHV has developed eleven sessions to cover every important facet of what Germany’s cannabis legalization model should include. It’s a great way to get educated about German legalization efforts and what to expect in the coming months. The information presented will be extremely timely, with upcoming hearings in the Bundestag expected to begin in the near future.

Below are sessions taking place at the upcoming Cannabis Normal! Conference:

More information about the schedule and program of the Cannabis Normal! Go to:

For press inquiries and accreditations please contact

berlin, Cannabis Normal, german cannabis association, Germany

International Cannabis Business Conference



© International Cannabis Chronicle. All rights reserved. Site developed and hosted by Rogue Web Works.