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Önder Sarak, Cannopharma:

Germany: “Adult-use legalization will be a great opportunity for medical cannabis companies”

"We have set our sights on the German market, which is currently the largest legal medical cannabis market in Europe. With adult-use legalization around the corner, we will be able to serve both markets and are expecting a major increase in demand," says Önder Sarak, CEO/Managing Director and shareholder of Cannopharma GmbH. The company's mission is to produce high-quality medical cannabis products that meet the needs of patients in Germany and other European countries. The company will be working with well-known growers like Bedrocan as well as small to large qualified growers worldwide, and has invested heavily in research and development to ensure that its products are effective and safe for patients to use. "The medical cannabis market in Germany has seen significant growth in recent years, with over 250,000 patients receiving prescriptions for medical cannabis in 2021 and over 480,000 in 2022. Despite conservative and negative attitudes towards cannabis due to decades of prohibition and criminalization, we at Cannopharma are encouraged by the increasing awareness and understanding of the benefits of medical cannabis among the public and healthcare professionals. We expect this growth to continue exponentially in the coming years due to several factors."

Önder Sarak 

First, the increasing awareness of the medical benefits of cannabis among both the general population and medical professionals is a key driver of growth, Önder says. "Second, the growing acceptance of cannabis worldwide is opening up new markets and opportunities for companies like Cannopharma. Third, the scientific evidence of the benefits of medical cannabis is rapidly accumulating, and long-term studies are on the verge of publication, providing a strong foundation for the medical use of cannabis. Fourth, the increasing product and medication variety is catering to the needs of a broader patient base. Lastly, the general trend of strong and positive market developments is driving growth and creating new opportunities. Cannopharma is at the forefront of this growth, with a focus on importing, manufacturing, and distributing high-quality medical cannabis products that meet the specific needs of our patients. Our strategy is to continue investing in research and development to expand our product range and better support our patients. We work closely with medical professionals to increase awareness of the benefits of medical cannabis and promote greater acceptance in society."

Cannopharma also welcomes and supports the steps taken by the German government and Health Minister Karl Lauterbach in his recent press conference on April 12, 2023, regarding their cautious and science-based approach to the issue. "However, we believe that more detailed plans and fundamental solutions are necessary to address the challenges facing the industry."

As the CEO of Cannopharma, Önder anticipates exponential growth in the medical cannabis market in the coming years due to the increasing awareness and understanding among the public and healthcare professionals, as well as the growing acceptance of cannabis worldwide, the scientifically based benefits of medical cannabis, upcoming long-term studies, and the expanding product and medication diversity. "We also urge potential investors and venture capitals to consider the growing potential of the medical cannabis industry in Germany and the opportunities that our company can offer in this market."

High quality
With production starting soon, Cannopharma has already secured several key licenses and certifications required to operate in the German medical cannabis market. The company holds a GMP certification and has obtained a license from the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) to produce medical cannabis. "We only work with growers who have EU GMP standards. Both quality and a variety of products are important to us." So far, Cannopharma's product portfolio includes a variety of medical cannabis products, including oils, capsules, and dried flowers. The company's products are designed to treat a range of medical conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and multiple sclerosis.

"Most growth potential"
According to Önder, Germany is a very fast-growing cannabis market in Europe, with the most potential growth-wise. "In fact, it is predicted to become one of the biggest cannabis markets worldwide. This is partly due to the healthcare system being very strong in Germany. Insurance pays the cost when patients need medical cannabis for pain, epilepsy, and other illnesses."

Önder even thinks that adult-use legalization will help the medical market. "We are not expecting it to affect the medical market negatively, as patients will continue using their health insurance to get their prescriptions. Instead, we believe adult-use legalization will have a positive influence on the medical market. Cannabis demand is expected to increase by a factor of 100, as we currently have a very big illegal market." Önder explains that this will be a great opportunity for medical cannabis companies. "The government has already indicated that both medical and adult-use cannabis will be strictly controlled to meet high-quality standards. Furthermore, adult-use cannabis should only be allowed to be sold in licensed shops, and so far, only pharmacies have this infrastructure. This will enable medical companies, like us, to serve both markets, as we already have the quality and infrastructure that is necessary."

Önder adds that any interested global EU GMP growers can contact Cannopharma. "We also want to apply with investors in the government's pilot projects in the course of legalization."

For more information:
Cannopharma GmbH