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In-Depth Coverage Of The Irish And European Markets

What does Germany's new cannabis law mean for patients?

Germany has emerged at the forefront of progressive cannabis policies in Europe, and its recent legislative changes mark a significant leap forward for cannabis reform, particularly in the medical field. The introduction of the CanG law on 1st April 2024 brings about several noteworthy amendments, reshaping the landscape for both medical cannabis patients and the broader cannabis market.

Medical Cannabis in Germany: A Growing Market

Since 2017, Germany has permitted the use of cannabis for seriously ill patients who have exhausted conventional treatment options. This forward-thinking approach has positioned Germany as a leader in the European medical cannabis market. By the end of 2023, the country accounted for over half of Europe's medical cannabis sales, serving more than 230,000 patients and generating approximately €390 million in revenue.

The CanG Law: What it Means for Patients

Under the CanG law, several key changes have been implemented, including provisions for public possession and home cultivation. Individuals are now permitted to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis for personal use, and home cultivation of up to three plants is allowed, with a limit of 50 grams of dried flower. However, consumption remains prohibited in certain public spaces, including areas near kindergartens, schools, and sports facilities. This restriction extends to medical cannabis patients, affecting their ability to consume medication, even in private settings such as the workplace.

Simplifying Prescription and Access

One significant positive outcome of the new legislation is the reclassification of cannabis from a prohibited substance. This simplifies the prescription process for doctors, enabling them to prescribe medical cannabis more easily using standard or digital forms. Additionally, patients now have the option to legally grow their own cannabis or obtain it from growers' associations, marking progress in access and availability.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the CanG law presents several benefits for patients, challenges remain. Access to prescribing physicians and coverage by statutory health services require improvement. Telemedicine services have become a convenient option for patients seeking prescriptions, although some operate questionably. Despite the consumption restrictions and lingering challenges, the CanG law represents a significant step forward for German patients. By conducting themselves responsibly and respecting consumption regulations, patients can maximise the benefits of these legislative changes. While adjustments may be necessary, the overall impact of the CanG law is poised to enhance access, affordability, and quality of care for medical cannabis patients in Germany.

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I hope this will be the same in Ireland soon.

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