First permission to grow cannabis
First permission to grow cannabis

On 28. September 2016 the federal agency for medicines and health products (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (BfArM)) granted a permission to grow medical cannabis for self-therapy to a patient in Germany. It was the first time such a kind of permission was approved by the agency.

The patient living in Mannheim won the lawsuit to this in April. He already owns a permission to buy cannabis from a pharmacy. Like almost every owner of such a permission he cannot afford enough cannabis to treat himself.

To avoid this and further permission the government crafted a new law which makes medical cannabis available on prescription and covered by health insurance. Further information about the new system: Medical Cannabis Breakthrough in Germany

The permission limited in time. If the health insurance didn’t cover the costs of cannabis from a pharmacy until 30. June 2017, the permission will be extended.

After fighting since 2000 Michael F. is allowed to grow up to 130 plants per year his bathroom. He had to install a windows grating, strengthen the door of the flat and the cannabis must stored in a safe.

Germany 2017: Cannabis on prescription and covered by health insurance
Germany 2017: Cannabis on prescription and covered by health insurance

Germany is going to become one of the top medical cannabis countries in the world. The federal government approved a draft law in May, which is currently discussed by the parliament. The ruling parties in the Bundestag, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) are backing the proposal as well as the opposition parties The Left (DIE LINKE) and Alliance ’90/The Greens (GRÜNE). The ministry of health announced the law should become effective in 2017.

„Our goal is that seriously ill people are looked after to the best of our ability“ – Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe

This law will push Germany onto one level with the most progressive states like Canada, the Netherlands, Israel or some US states.

The new system: Cannabis on prescription and covered by health insurance

The new ruling regulates cannabis flos (marihuana) [(dried marijuana flowers)] and extracts like any other prescription drug. Thus every doctor will be qualified to prescribe it for any indication. Patients with a severe illness which „have no therapeutic alternative“ will get a reimbursement.

The fact that there is no positive list of diagnoses in combination the universal health insurance in Germany makes this new law significant.

Prof. Heino Stöver and me, Maximilian Plenert, wrote the study „Policy Options for Drug Control with Reference to Trade and Consumption in Germany and Europe“ on behalf of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a „German political foundation associated with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)“ in 2013. The foundation merge our text with some similar documents into „From Repression to Regulation: Proposals for Drug Policy Reform“ and published it in German, Englisch and Spain. You can find our study on page 292 – 392 of the Englisch version.

Here is our introduction and the outline:


Forty years of the Narcotics Act in Germany, 50 years of the Narcotics Control Convention and over 100 years of attempts at global drug control form the framework for the investigation of the present report on alternative policy options for reform of drug control legislation. Weiterlesen

medical marihuana like other prescribable narcotics
Medical marihuana – Just another prescribable narcotic?

There is a great news from Germany! The ministry of health just released a very progressive draft to regulate medical marihuana like other prescribable narcotics, this means every doctor can prescribe it and patients can buy it in every pharmacy. The proposal includes a provisional arrangement to make it reimbursable and covered by health insurance.

The government has to do anything to prevent a foreseeable court decision, patients are sueing for the right to grow their own medicine.

The ministry of health document also contains the suggestion to establish a cannabis agency according to the UN Single Convention. This agency will run a state monopol on the medical marihuana market and give licenes to companies to grow the cannabis.

For now it’s just a proposal but the outcoming law must be good enough to satisfy the Federal Administrative Court.

More is coming soon!