German cannabis reform moves forward in curious ways

The German cannabis reform discussion is clearly progressing – but it is proceeding slowly and in curious ways. Unlike in other countries, the driver of reform here is both federal and medical – meaning that the plant as medicine must be slotted into existing pharmaceutical and medical procedures. The reason is that Germany changed its law in 2017 to mandate that cannabis as medicine must be compensated by public health insurance if prescribed by a doctor.

Since then, the battle has raged, and in different ways and different levels. Patients are still fighting to get basic access. However, on the hemp and CBD front, things have stayed strange. Part of the reason is that many German authorities are hostile, generally, to the idea of cannabis reform – even on a local level (as seen in the United States, frequently over the last thirty years of cannabis reform). See California as a perfect example of the same.

However, in the German version of the same, it is hemp that authorities attacked first – in part because the regulated hemp market has clearly staked out territory that appears to be intimidating to those who oppose all kinds of cannabis reform. Indeed, the city of Dusseldorf banned hemp sales – a move which has just been successfully overturned in court. That said, the company involved still had to bear the legal costs.


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