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Tag: Germany

Parliament Berlin Government Building Bundestag Germany

Why Is the German Government Delaying Cannabis Reform?

Promises are promises. So why are there repeated indications that the new coalition is putting the issue on the backburner?

Six months ago, the new German governing coalition made recreational cannabis reform one of their election planks. After the election, in November, they also made promises that reform would progress this year.

It is now May – and so far, the only message out of Berlin is that this entire issue is low priority and further will be pushed back for other “more important” discussions. So far this has included the war with Ukraine as well as lingering Covid complications.

However, with Covid clearly receding as masks come off in public life, there is no more excuse from this angle. Further, the war may pose some large problems – notably how Germany is going to get its oil and gas and whether to send weapons to the war zone, but this should not distract from other big-ticket political issues now cooling on the backburner.

Here is a list of reasons why cannabis reform should be a top priority for the government this summer.

Recession and Inflation

There are repeated warnings and indicators that economies including the great German machine, will suffer from a twin blow of supply chain problems (in part caused by the war and partly by Covid), plus inflation that is affecting almost every aspect of life. There is no denying that this industry creates both jobs and tax revenue that the German government really needs.

A Green New Deal

This lofty ideal is stalling everywhere, yet cannabis reform, including in Europe, is a great way to jump-start this discussion. Not only is phytoremediation (usually with hemp crops) now starting to be a “thing” but organic continues to be a priority for consumers – even with inflation. This industry ticks both of these boxes.

The Medical Revolution is Stalled

Earlier this year, the largest insurers made the news by saying that the “cannabis craze” is over. This is not true, and by a long shot. About 40% of patients who should qualify for coverage are being denied it – and that impacts sales as well as funding for more trials. Beyond this, patients are consumers too – and they need both choices and affordable options – especially if insurance companies are slow to approve reimbursements. Not to mention protection from law enforcement.

The Police Are Busting Hemp Sellers

While it is a tragic reality, the police have stepped up efforts to prosecute even legitimate hemp sellers. There are approximately 200 criminal cases now pending against CBD specialty stores across the country and the pace does not seem to be tapering off. Legalization would stop this kind of police activity, for the benefit of taxpayers. Of course, the prosecution of patients would also stop.

It is time for a change. No more delay. Legalization Now!

Germany

Berlin International Cannabis Business Conference 2021

International Cannabis Business Conference Berlin 2022 Preview

The International Cannabis Business Conference is coming back to Berlin, Germany on July 19-20, 2022. Offering world-class industry networking opportunities, the Berlin International Cannabis Business Conference is the largest B2B cannabis trade event in Europe and is also the longest-running cannabis B2B conference on the continent. The conference will once again feature a unique blend of cannabis policy, advocacy, industry, and networking.

Germany is home to the largest economy in the European Union and is poised to serve as the cannabis industry capital of Europe going forward. The cannabis industry is evolving rapidly in Germany, with the country’s medical cannabis program increasing in size with every passing day.

The International Cannabis Business Conference is the leading B2B cannabis event series on earth. Events have been held in the United States, Canada, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland. Additional locations in other countries are being identified and will be announced in the future. Over 5,000 attendees and 350 companies sponsors and exhibitors are expected at the Berlin International Cannabis Business B2B Conference in 2022.

International Cannabis Business Conference events are attended by leading policymakers, executives, and entrepreneurs from all over the world, with over 80 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.

The conference series consistently features world-class speakers that cannabis entrepreneurs, advocates, and consumers from all backgrounds can learn from and be entertained by. At the conclusion of the 2022 B2B event, attendees will 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. After a conference of learning from true-cannabis experts and networking with cannabis enthusiasts from around the globe, the after-party featuring Morgan Heritage is the perfect way to unwind.

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.

You can secure tickets now and take advantage of the early bird pricing discount (expires June 22nd). Below is a preview video of what attendees can expect in Berlin:

berlin, Germany

stethescope doctor medical hospital

The Fight Over “Medical Efficacy“ Of Cannabis In Germany

Insurance companies are still dismissing doctor opinion and individual case history in favour of outdated studies

In early April, a man with ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) failed, at the appeal level, in obtaining cannabis reimbursement from his insurer. The decision, handed down by the State Social Court in Stuttgart, refused coverage on two grounds. The first was that there were “other treatments available.” The second is that the plaintiff was not “seriously ill.”

This is not an unusual scenario today in Germany. Insurers are turning down patients who have found doctors to recommend and prescribe the drug using both outdated study data and refusing personal patient testimony that cannabis helps them better than more mainstream drugs.

In this case, the man had initially been prescribed Ritalin, which he claimed gave him an aversion to taking tablets. Beyond this, as the medical literature also shows, taking amphetamines (which is what Ritalin along with other “traditionally prescribed” medicines for ADHD are) has a heavy toll on the body long term. According to some research, long-term amphetamine use can damage the brain, cardiovascular system and may even lead to psychosis, malnutrition, and erratic behaviour.

In the US, albeit with some considerations, namely if it interferes with work or life, this condition is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In Germany, the condition is also, when diagnosed and treated by a psychiatrist, a serious enough long-term condition to be covered by German health insurance.

The Heat Is On

German insurers as well as the social courts remain largely hostile to medical cannabis prescriptions, and indeed are still forcing patients into court to fight for that right on an individual basis. Because class actions are almost unheard of here, this means that rather than setting both medical and legal precedent every time a patient sues and wins, insurance companies are forcing every rejected patient to fight for their individual rights in court – no matter the condition or even successful court wins previously – also called legal precedent.

Beyond this, insurers are picking and choosing the studies they wish to quote rather than looking at the most recent study data available.

This means that, unless there is a sea change, patients will continue to be turned down for treatment, not by their doctors, but by a legal and reimbursement system which is outdated, bureaucratic and increasingly unfair, and further is operating outside of the intent of the 2017 law – namely that medical cannabis compensation should only be refused in “exceptional cases.”

It is also unlikely that this situation will be changed anytime soon. That also means that those patients who are turned down will have no recourse in the short term except to rely on the black market or home grow, and, once recreational reform has been implemented, the recreational market.

This is not a “solution” and leaves about 40% of legitimate patients in Germany with fewer options than before. Cannabis reform even on the medical front, should not just be a panacea for the rich.

Germany

opioids painkillers pills

Study Finds 50% Opioid Reduction By German Medical Cannabis Patients

Opioids are a blessing and a curse to the human population. In some instances, opioids can be helpful to patients that are suffering from various types of pain, such as the pain that follows a surgical procedure.

However, opioids are also very addictive and exponentially more harmful to the human body compared to cannabis. It is estimated that roughly 7 out of every 10 deaths caused by an overdose worldwide are the result of opioids.

As I have pointed out in previous articles, no one should be shamed by other people for using opioids. As previously mentioned in this particular article, there are times when it is helpful for certain patients in certain circumstances to incorporate opioids into their pain management strategies.

With that being said, cannabis is another tool that chronic pain patients should consider. The cannabis plant is far safer than opioids, and for many patients, it’s a more effective form of treatment as proven by the results of a recent study in Germany. Below is more information about the study via a news release from NORML:

Potsdam, Germany: Chronic pain patients provided with cannabis-based interventions significantly reduce their daily intake of prescription opioids, according to longitudinal data published in the German medical journal Schmerz.

A team of German investigators assessed opioid use trends in a cohort of 178 chronic pain patients who were provided with either whole-plant cannabis extracts, nabiximols (a cannabis plant-derived oromucosal spray), or dronabinol (synthetic THC capsules) for an average period of 366 days. The majority of participants in the trial (65 percent) were older than 65 years of age.

Consistent with dozens of prior studies, patients significantly reduced their daily opioid intake over the course of the trial.

Investigators failed to identify any significant side effects due to the cannabis-based interventions.

Authors reported: “Patients daily opioid dosages were “significantly reduced in course of time by … 50 percent. This reduction was independent on CAM [medical cannabinoids] dosage, age and gender.”

They concluded: “Patients with chronic pain profit from long-term CAM which safely and significantly lower the consumption of co-medicated opioids, even at low dosages. … Older patients benefit from CAM, and adverse effects do not limit the (chronic) use and prescription of CAM in the elderly.”

Those who consume cannabis medicinally are most likely to report doing so to address chronic pain symptoms. Studies further report that pain patients typically reduce or eliminate their use of opioids following their initiation of cannabis therapy.

Full text of the study, “Cannabinoids reduce opioid use in older patients with pain: A retrospective three-year analysis of data from a general practice,” appears in Schmerz. Additional information is available from NORML’s fact sheet, ‘Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.’

Germany, opioids

European Cannabis Week 2022

European Cannabis Week Coming To Germany In July 2022

The European continent is the most exciting place for cannabis industry pursuits and policy reform efforts right now, and Germany is at the heart of it. Having served as the medical cannabis industry capital of Europe in recent years, Germany is trending towards full adult-use legalization and the launch of legal adult-use cannabis sales. When that happens, Germany will further become the undisputed cannabis industry capital of Europe.

Malta made history late last year when it became the first European nation to legalize cannabis for adult use, and just the third country on earth to make the policy shift. Yet, whereas Malta will not permit legal adult-use sales as part of its legalization model, Germany’s eventual legalization model will include sales according to current proposals from the governing coalition.

Related projections for Germany’s emerging cannabis industry are off the charts. To put Germany’s industry potential into perspective, consider the fact that Germany’s population is roughly twice the size of Canada, Uruguay, and Malta’s populations combined. Furthermore, Germany’s economy, which is the fourth-largest economy on earth, is well over twice the size of the three current legal cannabis nations’ economies combined.

It’s truly an amazing time to be a cannabis enthusiast in Europe, and particularly so in Germany, which is why we are so excited to announce European Cannabis Week in Berlin in July. The International Cannabis Business Conference, the largest and longest-running cannabis B2B event in Europe, is teaming up with Mary Jane Berlin Expo, Germany’s largest cannabis expo, to provide a week of amazing cannabis industry, policy, and entertainment opportunities.

European Cannabis Week will kick off on July 15, 2022 with the start of the Mary Jane Berlin Expo. In Europe, no cannabis expo is growing as fast as the Mary Jane Berlin: Over 220 exhibitors are expected at the event, along with over 27,000 attendees at the venue Arena Berlin & Badeschiff. The Mary Jane Berlin Expo will take place July 15-17th and combines a product exhibition, congress and festival in one. The range of products includes CBD, hemp oil, fertilizer, snacks, vaporizers, dog food, textiles and much more presented on a total area of over 13,000 square meters.

What makes Mary Jane Berlin stand out from other expos is its diverse cultural and entertainment program. The Mary Jane Berlin Festival measures the largest outdoor area ever to be offered by a European cannabis expo: Two festival stages play live music and live acts, the street food area offers culinary (cannabis) highlights and a sandy beach with an infinity pool in the famous Berlin river Spree provides a place to cool off in the hot summer days.

Below is a preview video for the upcoming Mary Jane Berlin event:

“We are particularly excited about European Cannabis Week given the favorable political climate for cannabis legalization in many parts of the continent. It is going to be extra special for our team to offer world-class cannabis industry and policy education, networking, and entertainment to attendees alongside Mary Jane Berlin at such a crucial juncture for Europe’s cannabis community,” says Alex Rogers, founder of the International Cannabis Business Conference.

After the Expo, European Cannabis Week then transitions to the International Cannabis Business Conference which is hosting one of its industry-leading Global Investment Forums on July 18th in Berlin. The Global Investment Forum in Berlin will feature hand-picked cannabis companies participating in a pitch session in front of top investors on the 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.

“We know how hard it is for quality investors to link up with vetted cannabis industry companies offering valuable investment opportunities,” Rogers stated. “That is why we are bringing the Global Investment Forum back to Berlin. It will be a prime networking opportunity for cannabis industry investors, entrepreneurs, and industry service providers alike.”

Following the Global Investment Forum is the two-day International Cannabis Business Conference Berlin B2B event that begins on July 19th. Cannabis industry leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and industry service providers from over 80 countries will be in attendance at the B2B event, making it the perfect place to learn and network. Below is a recap video of last year’s Berlin events:

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. After a long week of learning from true-cannabis experts and networking with cannabis enthusiasts from around the globe, the after-party featuring Morgan Heritage is the perfect way to cap off European Cannabis Week.

The International Cannabis Business Conference is the leading B2B cannabis event series on earth. Events have been held in the United States, Canada, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland. Additional locations in other countries are being identified and will be announced in the future. The topics covered at the Global Investment Forum and conference via panels and presentations will be led by the top cannabis experts in the global cannabis space. Speaker and schedule announcements will be released soon.

European Cannabis Week is going to be the ultimate cannabis experience in the heart of Germany during the middle of summer. Make sure that you don’t miss out and get your tickets to Mary Jane Berlin and the International Cannabis Business Conference as soon as possible before tickets sell out!

berlin, Europe, european cannabis week, Germany

stock market stocks

61% In U.S. Would Invest In European Cannabis Stocks According To Survey

The European continent is the most exciting place for cannabis policy and industry right now, which is something that I have pointed out in several articles. The international cannabis community’s eyes were already set on Europe leading up to Malta’s move to legalize at the end of last year, and legalization in Malta will no doubt add to the momentum for similar reform in other European countries.

Several countries in Europe are expected to legalize cannabis for adult use in the coming years, and in many of those countries adult-use cannabis sales will be a part of the equation. Low-THC product sales are already legal nationwide in Switzerland, and countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands are using pilot programs in which cannabis commerce will be legal at a local level.

Germany is the biggest cannabis prohibition domino that appears to be close to falling, and when that happens, it’s going to result in a tectonic shift in the global cannabis industry and policy landscape. According to the results of a new survey that was released this week by Bloomwell Group, many in the United States are eagerly awaiting the spread of legalization in Europe, particularly in Germany. Below is more information about the survey results via a company press release:

FRANKFURT, GermanyApril 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The “green rush” in Europe has commenced, and Americans are ready to invest their time, travel plans and money into the cannabis market across the pond, according to a new study.

Today, Bloomwell Group, a Germany-based holding company for medical cannabis companies, released the results of its ‘European Cannabis Market Survey,’ which examined American cannabis consumers’ expectations for, and opinions of, this burgeoning sector abroad, including the demand for cannabis tourism, investment opportunities, trade and more.

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS
The vast majority of respondents – 80 percent – agreed that “cannabis companies are attractive investment options,” while 61 percent shared that they “would invest in European cannabis stocks.”

Respondents also reported positive sentiments regarding cannabis tourism, an evolving issue in Germany, which only recently legalized adult-use cannabis after several years of expanding its medical market. Experts predict adult-use cannabis to come online by 2024, but regulators have not yet determined tourism policies. However, more than 66 percent of the Americans surveyed said they “would visit a cannabis dispensary or social consumption lounge” in Germany.

THE STATE OF EUROPEAN CANNABIS
The European cannabis industry has made unprecedented strides in the past year: Luxembourg decriminalized cannabis ownership and is hoping to legalize the market; Malta has decriminalized possession; the Netherlands launched Europe’s first-ever commercial cannabis cultivation pilot program; and Switzerland is also running a pilot project.

But the crown jewel of European cannabis is Germany, which is celebrating its medical market’s 5-year anniversary while paving the way to becoming the adult-use capital of Europe. According to a BDSA report from this month, international sales will exceed ~$10 billion in 2026. The bulk of that new legal spending will be driven by Germany (contributing ~$3 billion by 2026).

Germany has 82 million inhabitants – that’s more than Canada and California, two of the current biggest cannabis markets on the globe. Therefore, when Germany opens up for adult-use cannabis, it will become the biggest market in the world,” said Bloomwell Group CEO and Co-founder Niklas Kouparanis. “The future language for cannabis will be German.”

THE AMERICAN CONNECTION
The survey also addressed how the U.S. can potentially benefit economically from licensed cannabis markets in Europe. According to renowned economist Justus HaucapGermany will have a demand of 400 tons of cannabis annually after legalization. To help meet that dramatic demand, 80 percent of Americans polled say that the “U.S. should export cannabis to Europe,” a practice that would potentially increase domestic revenue.

Additional key survey findings include:

  • Awareness: More than half of respondents (52 percent) said they are “aware that Germany will most likely become the largest legal cannabis market within the next three years.”
  • Travel: 65 percent of Americans surveyed said they “would travel to a city or country to experience its licensed cannabis market,” while 44 percent said that they would travel to Germany specifically for cannabis tourism. As a bonus, nearly 75 percent polled said Pretzels, a Deutschland specialty, are a “satisfying ‘munchies’ food.”
  • Global Legalization: An overwhelming majority – 87 percent – said that cannabis should be legalized worldwide.

The promising survey results coincide with recent Bloomwell Group milestones that also illustrate global  confidence in the European and German cannabis markets: the company closed a seed funding round of over $10 million USD; Curaleaf’s Boris Jordan is a lead investor and board member.

METHODOLOGY
This survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey among a national sample of 845 people spanning across U.S. geographic regions and income levels. All of the respondents identified as cannabis consumers. The survey sample was weighted to reflect the gender distribution and the age distribution across the 18-60+ age brackets in the U.S.

About Bloomwell Group
Frankfurt-based Bloomwell Group acts as a holding company for medical cannabis businesses, and is also positioned to hold and oversee companies in Germany’s upcoming licensed adult-use cannabis market. It is the largest cannabis company in Germany with more than 240 employees. Bloomwell Group’s mission is to build, acquire and invest in ESG healthcare and cannabis companies along the entire value chain, excluding cultivation. In doing so, Bloomwell Group relies on patient and/or consumer-centric direct approaches to set up a strong and revolutionizing streamlined patient and consumer journey. The company is poised to transform healthcare, as well as cannabis consumption and cannabis-enhanced lifestyles for the better. The combination of natural medicines, cannabis and digitization is a journey that combines historic roots with 21st century tools. The green revolution in healthcare and a new international cannabis regulatory regime starts now and Bloomwell is leading the charge. For more information, visit: www.bloomwell.eu

Contact: Alex Rush
718.664.3517
arush@rosengrouppr.com

SOURCE The Bloomwell Group

Europe, Germany

skin lotion

German Researchers Examine Impact Of Cannabinoid Compounds On Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is one of the most commonly found types of cancer around the globe. The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that “Melanoma is the 19th most common cancer in men and women, with nearly 300,000 new cases worldwide in 2018. Non-melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most commonly occurring cancer in men and women, with over 1 million diagnoses worldwide in 2018.”

Fortunately, skin cancer is one of the more treatable forms of cancer, although over 5,000 people still die from the disease worldwide every year. Speaking broadly, the first sign of skin cancer is typically something on a person’s skin that looks very unordinary. Bumps, lesions, sores, and patches of skin that look like scars despite no incident causing them are all potential signs that someone has skin cancer.

Cannabis has been offered up as a treatment for skin cancer, with patients around the world incorporating cannabis topicals and other forms of medical cannabis into their treatment regimens. A team of researchers in Germany recently conducted a study exploring cannabinoids’ possible impact on skin cancer.

Rostock University Medical Centre

Researchers associated with the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Venereology at Rostock University Medical Centre in Germany examined currently-available scientific research results involving cannabis and skin cancer.

“Drugs targeting the endocannabinoid system are of interest as potential systemic chemotherapeutic treatments and for palliative care in cancer. In this context, cannabinoid compounds have been successfully tested as a systemic therapeutic option in preclinical models over the past decades.” the researchers stated.

“Recent findings have suggested an essential function of the endocannabinoid system in the homeostasis of various skin functions and indicated that cannabinoids could also be considered for the treatment and prophylaxis of tumour diseases of the skin.” the researchers also stated.

“Cannabinoids have been shown to exert their anticarcinogenic effects at different levels of skin cancer progression, such as inhibition of tumour growth, proliferation, invasion and angiogenesis, as well as inducing apoptosis and autophagy.” the researchers concluded.

Keeping Research In Perspective

The results of this latest study, which is essentially an analysis of the aggregated results of many studies, are absolutely worth celebrating. The cannabis plant has helped many people, and it may help you and/or a loved one if/when a skin cancer diagnosis is rendered.

With that being said, it’s always important to note that the cannabis plant is dynamic, that human biology is complicated, and thus, results may vary. People don’t have anything to lose by trying cannabis, particularly cannabis topical rubs, however, people need to temper expectations.

Just because the cannabis plant can help cure some people’s cancer does not mean that it will always cure people’s cancer. That is true for skin cancer and every other type of cancer.

It’s a truly cruel thing to give someone that is battling cancer false hope, no matter how major or minor that false hope may be. Be realistic with yourself and your loved ones. Cannabis is a tool in a wellness toolbox and a powerful one at that, but it’s not a cure-all in every situation. Be mindful of that fact and if you do suspect that you or someone hat you know has skin cancer see a doctor right away.

Germany, skin cancer

berlin germany flag

Why Are Medical Sales In Germany Leveling Off?

According to Barmer, one of the largest statutory health insurers in Germany, the great “cannabis hype” is over – but is this really the truth?

If you are the CEO of Barmer, one of the largest German health insurers, it is easy to look at numbers and be copacetic about the cannabis status quo. Indeed, CEO Christoph Straub has made the headlines in Germany of late, proclaiming that the “big hype about cannabis seems to be over.”

Straub attributes the drop in applications to a “more targeted use.”

But is this really true?

Even five years ago, about 40% of applications were being summarily denied. The fastest way to get such approvals was, certainly for this population of patients, to sue their insurers.

The reality is that the insurers are not really on the front lines of approvals. The MDK, a state-by-state entity is actually still the last word on approvals. And they are still singing the same old tune.

The MDK is Ignoring the Latest Medical Studies

Patients who have had to struggle to first find doctors and then submit their applications through the system have a different perspective than a self-satisfied (non-sick) corporate executive.

Even when they have multiple doctors writing letters for their approvals, the MDK is more intent on turning down patients than approving them, and in particular, citing studies that are often outdated.

They are insulated by the insurance companies, who are themselves pointing fingers at the MDK.

Straub himself told Deutsche Apotheke, one of the larger professional zines in Germany that “further studies will be needed to better understand the complex mechanisms of action of cannabis and to integrate them into individual treatment concepts.”

However, as many patients will attest, even when they or their doctors include cutting-edge studies in their applications, these are ignored by the MDK committees of “experts” who have little interest in changing the way severely ill patients are treated, and even more certainly, with cannabis.

A Catch 22

Patients right now are caught in a terrible trap. They can decide to sidestep the process of approvals altogether and just go to a private doctor. However, this, along with the cost of prescriptions, makes this option completely unappealing if not financially feasible. What it does prove, however, is that the MDK has a different standard for treating the seriously ill than frontline doctors.

Beyond this, patients often still have to turn to the black market – and this obviously is dangerous and almost as expensive. Growing your own remains highly hazardous.

Regardless, it is clear that health insurers and the MDKs beyond this have managed to essentially stop the medical cannabis revolution in its tracks. The only way for the industry to grow and patients to gain at least legal protection that comes with decriminalization is through full and final reform.

Germany

germany flag

A ”Recreational Cannabis Referendum“ For Germany?

A German constitutional law professor is proposing that Germany should change its Basic Law to allow Germans to tell the government to slow down on recreational cannabis reform.

The new traffic light coalition has said it will legalize recreational cannabis. However, many Germans still think this is a step too far, even though the parties who are currently administering the government all had pro-legalization platforms in the last national election.

One of them, a constitutional law professor by the name of Hermann Heußner, believes that instead of legalization by the government, the country should hold a referendum on the topic first.

There is only one small problem with this. There is no provision for such a referendum in the country’s constitution, or so-called “Basic Law.” If the government decided to hold such a referendum, it would also have to change Germany’s constitution first.

As delaying tactics go, this is certainly a novel idea that has not been utilized before.

The only problem is that this could push legalization of recreational cannabis back by years. Berlin, the nation’s capital, is a city-state and does have the ability to create referendums. Most recently, Berliners held a referendum to expropriate large real estate corporations.

However, using Berlin as an example in this instance is hardly helpful.

How To Proceed with Cannabis Legalization in Germany?

The reality is, as most people agree, that prohibition has failed just as spectacularly in Germany as everywhere else. The costs associated with literally policing the population, are high. Cannabis is the most widely used “illicit” drug in Europe. And Germany, just like everywhere else, can certainly use not only new kinds of jobs but the tax income that will certainly result in this kind of change.

The problem is that a majority of Germans still are not persuaded that full legalization is the answer. As late as December 2020, a national poll showed that Germans still did not want recreational cannabis reform. Even so, it became a large campaign issue and ended up creating a three-party government, all of whom are committed to recreational reform in some form – even if they are now putting it on the back burner to deal with more “pressing” issues like Covid and the Russian war with Ukraine.

In the meantime, patients continue to be prosecuted for being sick, and those who merely want to smoke a joint after work continue to fall into harm’s way if the police catch them with more than 6-15 grams of cannabis.

The saga continues. Stay tuned.

Germany

Raphael Mechoulam ICBC Berlin

Europe’s Largest Cannabis B2B Event Is Coming Back To Germany

BERLIN, Germany – The International Cannabis Business Conference is coming back to Berlin, Germany on July 19-20, 2022. Offering world-class industry networking opportunities, the Berlin International Cannabis Business Conference is the largest B2B cannabis trade event in Europe and is also the longest-running cannabis B2B conference on the continent. The conference will once again feature a unique blend of cannabis policy, advocacy, industry, and networking. Below is a recap video from last year’s conference in Berlin:

“We are particularly excited about this year’s conference in Berlin given the favorable political climate for cannabis legalization. It is going to be extra special for our team to offer world-class cannabis industry and policy education, networking, and entertainment to attendees at such a crucial juncture for Europe’s emerging cannabis industry,” says Alex Rogers, founder of the International Cannabis Business Conference.

In addition to the Berlin B2B event, the International Cannabis Business Conference 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.

Germany is home to the largest economy in the European Union and is poised to serve as the cannabis industry capital of Europe going forward. The cannabis industry is evolving rapidly in Germany, with the country’s medical cannabis program increasing in size with every passing day.

Cannabis industry opportunities that are popping up in Germany and on the European continent have tremendous profit potential, and the Global Investment Forum is the perfect place for entrepreneurs to try to secure capital to take their pursuits to the next level. It is also an unparalleled opportunity for investors to learn more about pre-vetted investment opportunities and for industry service providers to find reliable and high-end clients.

“We know how hard it is for quality investors to link up with vetted cannabis industry companies offering valuable investment opportunities,” Rogers stated. “That is why we are bringing the Global Investment Forum back to Berlin. It will be a prime networking opportunity for cannabis industry investors, entrepreneurs, and industry service providers alike.”

The International Cannabis Business Conference is the leading B2B cannabis event series on earth. Events have been held in the United States, Canada, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland. Additional locations in other countries are being identified and will be announced in the future. The topics covered at the Global Investment Forum and conference via panels and presentations will be led by the top cannabis experts in the global cannabis space. Speaker and schedule announcements will be released soon. 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 80 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.

The conference series consistently features world-class speakers that cannabis entrepreneurs, advocates, and consumers from all backgrounds can learn from and be entertained by. International Cannabis Business Conference events include after-party festivities that feature some of the most entertaining musical acts and celebrities from across the globe.

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.

You can secure tickets now and take advantage of the early bird pricing discount.

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About the International Cannabis Business Conference

The International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin is Europe’s longest-running and largest industry B2B tradeshow and conference. For more information, including how to register for ICBC Barcelona, Berlin, and Zurich, please visit: Internationalcbc.com. Find out more on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

For more information or media inquiries, please email noelle@internationalcbc.com or call 541.864.0090.

berlin, Germany

pharmacy pharma pharmaceuticals gel capsules

The Year Of Pharmaceutical Cannabis?

What will 2022 look like from a cannabis industry perspective in Europe?

There have been multiple commentaries on the shape of reform in Germany, as well as the timetable this year. Namely, is 2022 the year (finally) of adult-use reform or is it the year that large, established pharmaceutical companies move into the industry?

Adult Use or Medical Reform?

Just about everyone now expects adult-use reform in Germany not to occur this year and for reasons that range from enduring Covid to the Russian war with Ukraine. 

This means that the only way the industry must grow is the CBD market and the medical side of the equation.

In an environment where health insurance companies and the MDK, the state-based organization tasked with final approval of medical cannabis for patients, are not approving new patients (numbers for patient approvals have been essentially flat for the last two years) this does not spell particularly good news for those who make their livings on the pharma side of the equation. Pharmaceutical companies are interested, just like anyone else, in volume and profits. With no growth in prescriptions, the industry is currently in a steady state. Mergers and buyouts are also likely to continue as pharma side companies struggle to make money in an industry that is still pricing on a retail, rather than wholesale, level. Introducing expensive new cannabinoid-based drugs into the market will also not solve this problem. Indeed, it may make it even harder for patients to get approvals in the future.

A Looming Price War

What is likely to happen this year is that the outrageous prices and overheads slapped on cannabis may begin to go away. This is an industry so far built on finding loopholes for just about everything, including its ability to exist. In the meantime, the now widespread practice of importing GACP cannabis from usually developing economies to Portugal or Spain and “converting” it to EU-GMP cannabis is likely to change. For every certification “hop” a usually high surcharge is slapped on the plant, and on retail rather than wholesale amounts.

What that means in the long term is that GACP qualified cannabis is reaching medical markets like Germany, repackaged as GMP. In the long run, this is not a sustainable business model. Neither is the practice of charging a standard amount per gram of certification in Germany.

Beyond this, there is the matter of global competition. Companies that have been delayed by Covid are now entering the market in countries both in and outside of the EU with their own flos and oil extracts. This means that the prices for the same will drop – certainly at the cultivation end. 

In short, there is no clear path for the industry this year, and from any quarter. And this will continue to be the case until full and final reform actually comes.

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Pharmacy Vs Dispensary: The Shape Of German Rec Reform

What is the model for recreational distribution likely to be in Germany?

Last fall, the new Traffic Light Coalition promised to enact recreational cannabis reform in Germany. However, beyond the actual schedule of reform, which has now been informally delayed until at least next year and 2024, there are already debates and discussions about what that reform might look like. 

This starts with what kind of regulated outlet cannabis can be sold at.

There has been some discussion of following the Swiss model – namely to start by dispensation via pharmacies. This of course would make sense as pharmacies are already in the business of cannabis dispensation. Further, a working model right across the Swiss border could be applied directly to the industry.

This idea however so far has not been uniformly embraced as many in the industry see their futures as running cannabis “dispensaries” more akin to the US or Canadian model. This would require stores to be separately licensed. The process of setting up such a system would inevitably take much longer and be fraught with the same issues that have arisen in North America. Namely, how would such licenses be dispensed and who would be eligible to receive them.

A Dispensary Rush?

In the United States, the process of obtaining dispensaries in many states was introduced by lottery. This benefitted those with money and political connections and largely left out everyone else. 

Beyond this, there is also the issue of where such dispensaries or stores would be located, if states and municipalities refuse to allow the same, this could also lead to additional problems for the industry, akin to what has already occurred in every single legalizing jurisdiction in North America and Holland so far.

What Does the Industry Want?

The further problem the looming legal dispensation of cannabis will create splits in the industry itself. There is no consensus from the medical cannabis pharmacies about whether they want to sell adult-use cannabis. 

Beyond this, being Germany, the entire discussion of which regs will apply (and to whom) looms large. This is particularly true given the police habit, so far, of indiscriminately invading premises and penalizing both companies and individuals under the German Narcotics Act.

The bottom line, no matter when the legislation for adult use comes, is that there is going to be another big fight looming, this time within the industry, particularly for those who have also established “CBD stores.” Complicated of course, by continued police intransigence to cannabis reform itself.

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