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Implications and Challenges of the Cannabis Act in Germany

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Ayanna Amadi
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Implications and Challenges of the Cannabis Act in Germany

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Germany's Landmark Cannabis Act: An Overview

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The Cannabis Act (CanG) in Germany, a groundbreaking law set to allow private and club-based cultivation for recreational adult use, is expected to come into effect in early April. However, this proposed legislation has raised concerns about increased youth access and crime, leading to opposition from some lawmakers. Despite these concerns, the act would also have significant implications for medical cannabis, potentially removing restrictions on prescription requirements and facilitating research.

Legalization and Its Challenges

Germany announced proposals to legalize cannabis in 2022 but later scaled back plans for a commercial market due to EU and UN regulations. Though some countries are using a non-profit model or pilot programs to bypass legislative issues, seizures of cannabis have reached their highest level in a decade in the EU. Malta legalized cannabis for adult use in 2021 with a non-commercial approach, while Luxembourg has voted to legalize personal possession and home cultivation of cannabis. Switzerland has introduced pilot programs for the legalization of adult use cannabis as well.

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The CanG Bill and Its Journey

Germany's landmark CanG bill is expected to pass through the Federal Parliament Bundestag this month, putting it back on track to come into effect by April 1. Despite current restrictions, cannabis consumption in Germany remains high. The proposed bill allows adults over 18 to possess up to 25 grams of dried cannabis or cultivate up to three plants at home. It also permits social clubs for collective cultivation in selected model regions.

Opposition and Economic Implications

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Despite the potential benefits, the bill faces opposition from conservative members of parliament and some in the medical community. The economic implications of cannabis legalization in Germany are substantial, with the German medical cannabis market alone projected to be worth €7 billion by 2028. However, the call for more funding for research and a more sober discussion in the medical arena reflects the ongoing complexities and gaps in cannabis medicine.

Medical Cannabis Treatment and Telemedicine

Current limitations on coverage for medical cannabis treatment, especially for psychiatric conditions, have highlighted the need for more high-quality data and evidence-based research. Telemedicine cannabis platforms have been explored as a means to collect patient data, but the lack of reliable, randomized controlled evidence for various conditions remains a challenge. The need for more research funding and a well-balanced discussion in the medical field reflects the ongoing complexities and gaps in cannabis medicine.

Global Cannabis Trends

In other global trends, Ukraine is on the brink of legalizing medical cannabis, while Texas Attorney General has filed lawsuits against five cities for implementing laws to decriminalize cannabis use and possession. Aurora Cannabis is planning a 1:10 stock consolidation to avoid delisting from NASDAQ. Importantly, new research reveals that legal cannabis prices in Canada are nearing parity with the illicit market, suggesting a potential shift in consumption patterns.

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