Germany may follow North America & legislate for wide access Cannabis!
Germany already has the largest Medical Cannabis market in Europe with around 130 000 patients. The compulsory health insurance scheme in Germany allows qualifying patients to reclaim the cost of their Cannabis medication which has been a big driver for adoption. Germany is also the home of the original vaporiser manufacturer Storz & Bickel the creators of some of the world’s most popular vapes, The Mighty and Crafty. In a sign of the times which shows the advantage of being one of the first adopters with a legal framework Storz & Bickel is now Canadian owned. This is case across the globe with lots of the companies operating in the Cannabis market being Canadian companies who have a global advantage due to Canadian regulation.
The federal election in Germany on the 26th September 2021 may be a turning point allowing Europe to compete in the Cannabis industry.
Why does this matter to the UK, we left the EU?
It may surprise you to know that the UK is working with Europe to create new standards for Cannabis across Europe.
Medical Cannabis in the UK is small scale but developing quickly. Essentially private medicine because the NHS is not writing or funding anything but a handful of prescriptions. The reason often stated for the NHS not prescribing is that there is not enough evidence, the NICE guidelines on pain echo this. Yet the Germans do see the case for funding prescriptions. Why is this? It seems it may well be down to German Courts and the defense of permissive personal liberty in Germany. The court cases have allowed patients to grow their own medication and made insurance companies cover the cost of prescribed Cannabis. The equivalent of the German Health insurance scheme is the NHS prescribing Cannabis and meeting the cost of the prescriptions, something that really does not happen yet. This may change if Germany and other European countries further liberalise because of the connection between the regulators in Europe and the UK even after Brexit.
The key to changing the minds of regulators like the General Medical Council is the science and evidence of the real world being generated globally.
The next UK election, according to many political commentators, may well happen in May 2023, by then Cannabis may well be an electoral issue here as happened in German. Currently the UK Liberal Democrats and Greens are the only parties with well defined policies on liberalisation of Cannabis access.
German could be a turning point as highlighted by Reuters and several news outlets who are predicting a coalition government with many of the smaller parties looking to make Cannabis more accessible https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-election-cannabis-idAFKBN2GI05J watch this space.