Cannabis Shops Could Launch This Year In Germany For 'Scientific Purposes,' Here's Why UK's Medical Marijuana Sales Are Soaring

Zinger Key Points
  • The German government is working on the second pillar of its cannabis legalization law – cannabis shops as a scientific experiment.  
  •  ‘Unusually high’ per-patient consumption rates drive medical marijuana sales in the United Kingdom.  
  •  A new report reveals that Germany and the UK will account for 77% of all medical cannabis sales and patients in Europe by 2028.

Over the last several years, Europe has become more open-minded about medical and recreational marijuana. Here are some of the latest cannabis developments from the United Kingdom and Germany. 

Germany: Cannabis Shops Might Open This Year 

The German government is working on the second pillar of its cannabis legalization law – setting up municipal five-year pilot programs for state-controlled marijuana to be sold in licensed shops.

Marijuana became legal in Germany on April 1st, making it the third country in the European Union to legalize adult-use cannabis after Malta and Luxembourg. Under this first pillar of cannabis legalization, adults over 18 can legally possess up to 25 grams of dried cannabis flower  and cultivate up to three marijuana plants at home.

The Ministry of Agriculture has come up with plans to set up cannabis shops, according to Spiegel, and reported by T-online. Per the report, there is a draft regulation that is circulating in cannabis association circles and it is focused on setting up the responsibilities for the "permission and monitoring of the use of cannabis for scientific purposes." 

Expat Info reports that the new regulations have named Germany's Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BLE) as the responsible body to authorize the handling of cannabis for scientific purposes. 

The idea under the second pillar is to set up cannabis shops as scientific projects, meaning cannabis sales will be scientifically examined assessing its effects on youth and health protection as well as the black market.

"We are hopeful that a practical way will be created to legally sell cannabis products in Germany – at least in some scientific projects," Jürgen Neumeyer from the Cannabis Industry Association told Spiegel. 

The news comes about a week after marijuana advocates and enthusiasts met in cities across the world to celebrate the Global Marijuana March, among which a large group gathered in Frankfurt with the banner "Shops, not cops”, which is an appeal issued by the Hemp Initiative Frankfurt, reported CannabizEu. 

"Shops need to open as soon as possible. Although these clubs aim to promote social interaction among members of the cannabis community, they are currently run under stringent policies that make them unavailable," said Ingrid Wunn, founder of the Hemp Initiative Frankfurt and a cannabis patient.

Nick Faes, strategy and capital market consultant at Elevetix, a company providing research, strategic and financial consulting for companies and investors in the cannabis and AgriTech sectors recently shared its latest analysis on the German market. The paper projects that the cannabis shops might start before year-end, as no new law needs to be passed. 

"Cannamedical(13% market share) and Demecan(7% share) seem to be leading the pack among the German producers poised to capitalize on the rising medical cannabis market," Faes wrote."Among international contenders, Aurora ACB(12% share) holds the greatest exposure to German medical cannabis, accounting for 4% of its revenues, followed by Tilray TLRY (13% market share) for whom it represents an estimated 2% of revenues. However, the attraction of a potential EUR 9.4 billion market, pioneering in Europe, will likely draw numerous additional candidates alongside the existing 30 operators." 

See Also: Huge Benefits For Medical Marijuana Patients, Opportunities For Innovation & Research – Industry Vets Weigh In On Germany’s Cannabis Reform

United Kingdom: Higher Than Expected Medical Marijuana Sales 

The United Kingdom medical marijuana market is experiencing cannabis sales bigger than expected, due to ‘unusually high' consumption rates on a per-patient basis, reveals Prohibition Partners in a a new report

Prohibition Partners is a data, media and tech company operating in the legal cannabis industry providing specialist information and data analytics. 

The report also reveals that by the end of 2024, 62,960 patients are projected to be using medical marijuana in the United Kingdom, generating 240 million euros ($258.8 million) in sales. This means that the average medical marijuana patient will consume 3,811 euros worth of medical marijuana annually or 318 euros worth per month. 

Compare this to Germany, with the largest medical cannabis market and patient population in Europe, where the average medical cannabis patient will consume 1,563 euros worth of medical cannabis per year, or 130 euros per month. 

See Also: UK Cannabis: Medical Marijuana Imports Triple, Government Considers Regulating CBD Products As Food

"The comparatively high per-patient consumption rates in the UK are at least in part a consequence of the fact that the market is entirely private and self-paid," Lawrence Purkiss, senior analyst at Prohibition Partners, stated. "The financial incentives within the system are geared towards high prescription volumes, unlike in Germany where at least 50% of patients have their medical cannabis costs reimbursed under public healthcare."

Great Britain legalized medical marijuana in 2018. The need for cannabis as medicine was highlighted by two cases involving children with severe epilepsy. Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley both used cannabis oil with low THC to treat their diseases.

Despite legalization, licensed medical marijuana usage is low with some 1,000 patients obtaining prescribed medications, versus more than 20,000 relying on private prescriptions.

These clinics are supplied by large medical cannabis distributors like CuraleafCURLF. Jonathan Hodgson, CEO of Curaleaf Laboratories, commented: "The beginning of 2024 has already shown a tremendous level of growth, with a record number of UK private clinics now providing medical cannabis treatment for lower appointment costs than ever before. More formulations and dosage forms have entered the market, such as pastilles and liquid vape cartridges, broadening the treatment options available for specialists to prescribe for patients."

See Also: Canadian Marijuana Company Cronos Expands Into UK After Setting Up In Germany’s Nascent Market

The report further concludes that Germany and the UK will account for 77% of all medical cannabis sales and patients in Europe by 2028 (Germany 50%, UK 27%).

See Also: 1.4 Tons Of Cocaine Seized In Sweden’s Largest Drug Bust, Portugal Exports 11 Tons Of Marijuana, But Sells Only 17kg Within & More

Featured photo: Courtesy of Roxana Gonzalez via Shutterstock

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Posted In: CannabisNewsEurozoneCannabis EuropeElevetixEuro weedGermany CannabisIngrid WunnJonathan HodgsonJürgen NeumeyerLawrence PurkissNick FaesProhibition PartnersThe UK CannabisThe United Kingdom cannabisUK CannabisUnited Kingdom cannabis
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