Germany eyes domestic weed-growing industry

Published: March 4, 2017
The development comes following Berlin's legalisation of medical marijuana last month. PHOTO: REUTERS

The development comes following Berlin's legalisation of medical marijuana last month. PHOTO: REUTERS

Germany is believed to have set up a “cannabis agency” tasked with supervising cultivation of import of cannabis following legalisation of medical marijuana in the country last month.

After the development, control and distribution of medical marijuana will now be put under the regulation of a special marijuana agency formed by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), AP reported.

The agency, in addition to importing the recreational drug from Canada and the Netherlands, will oversee its cultivation, storage and subsequent distribution in Germany. The country is planning to put in place a local cannabis growing programme by as soon as 2019. It is also expected to invite bids from European Union companies to carry out cultivation domestically.

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According to the law passed in January, the sale and use of cannabis is limited to patients “in very limited exceptional cases.” It refers to the patients suffering from epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, appetite loss, chronic pain or nausea linked with cancer treatments.

Nonetheless, patients will not be allowed to grow the aforementioned medicine at their home. According to state secretary in the federal ministry of health Lutz Stroppe, the hemp reaching the patients will only be of pharmaceutical-grade.

Stroppe opined that self-cultivation would not lead to high-quality, medical cannabis strains meant for relieving pain that the patients suffer from, Deutschlandfunk reported.

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The government also cautioned that the new rules do not mean that marijuana will be used for non-medical purposes.

Currently, Germany imports medical cannabis from Canada and the Netherlands. It was only last year that 170 kilogrammes were received by Germany to treat 1,000 patients who were granted state exemption to buy cannabis.

This article originally appeared on News Neck

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