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Dr. Cornelius Maurer, Demecan

"The crisis illustrates how important it is for Germany not to rely exclusively on imports of medical cannabis"

DEMECAN is the only German company that covers all the manufacturing steps for medical cannabis, from growing to distribution. The company was founded in 2017 by Dr. Cornelius Maurer, Dr. Adrian Fischer and Dr. Constantin von der Groeben with the specific goal of providing patients easy access to medical cannabis. In May 2019, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) awarded DEMECAN a government contract to produce and process medical cannabis in Germany. This is particularly important in an industry where issues with the supply chain have been persistent. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that every country can rely on a domestic medical cannabis supply chain made up of locally grown products. The recent coronavirus outbreak has inevitably affected the supply chain, making even more clear why it is important to rely on a domestic supply chain. “The current corona pandemic shows why the cultivation of medical cannabis is indispensable for Germany,” Dr. Cornelius Maurer says. “The German market has come under pressure due to the corona crisis. Closed borders make it difficult to import products and supply chains are at risk. The crisis exacerbates the existing supply gaps in Germany and illustrates how important it is that Germany does not rely exclusively on imports of medical cannabis. Our goal is to create a constant and comprehensive supply of medical cannabis in Germany with our own domestic production.”

Dr. Cornelius Maurer

Operating during COVID-19
When restrictive measures were implemented, many businesses were not allowed to operate, unless they were deemed essential. Medical cannabis fell exactly under this category, and DEMECAN promptly adapted to the new normal. “We reacted quickly to the situation,” Dr. Maurer remarks. “As a first step, we arranged for all employees to work from their home, whenever possible. In order to help maintain patient care in Germany, we have decided to provide quick relief. Only a few weeks after we received permission to import medical cannabis from the Netherlands, we started the distribution of products, and since April, we supply to pharmacies all over Germany.”

At the same time, DEMECAN is working hard to complete the construction of its cultivation facility, so that the German cannabis supply chain can finally kick off. “We are currently retrofitting an existing facility into an EU-GMP certified production facility,” Dr. Maurer points out. “The construction work is progressing parallel to the import and distribution business. Once the facility is completed, DEMECAN will be an independent source of domestic supply and will ensure that the growing demand for medical cannabis in Germany is met.”

The strict German standards
Just like in any other country where the cultivation of medical cannabis is regulated, German growers have to follow very strict standards. “Medical cannabis can only be cultivated with the permission of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM),” he explains. “The production is subject to strict hygiene regulations. Our staff requires great pharmaceutical expertise in the production of medical products, as DEMECAN operates at a very high quality level. The choice of location is also very important.”

“The German city of Dresden has proven to be a great location due to the existing pharmaceutical structures. All aspects of production are carried out in accordance with the legal requirements for pharmaceutical production facilities, in line with GACP and EU-GMP standards.”

The importance of creating a steady medical cannabis supply chain will become even more pressing as the industry evolves, and as demand grows. “DEMECAN has been involved from the very beginning, when the market for medical cannabis was opened back in 2017,” he says. “Since then, the market for medical cannabis has grown rapidly. Within the next five years, the market will evolve and grow. We expect an increase in demand due to a rising number of medical prescriptions. DEMECAN will be prepared to significantly increase the domestic production volume at our facility over the next five years. We will also be at the scientific forefront and develop new form factors. Our aim is to provide patients in Germany with a constant and reliable supply of medical cannabis of the highest quality.”

For more information:
Reichenberger Straße 120
D-10999 Berlin  

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