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420 with CNW — German Marijuana Imports Reached Record Levels in 2023

Cannabis News Wire, Media Partners

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Germany saw a significant surge in its marijuana imports for scientific and medical purposes last year, reaching a record high, indicating a growing interest from international businesses eyeing opportunities in Europe’s largest federally regulated medical cannabis market. According to the latest data from the Federal Institute for Drugs & Medical Devices (BfArM), the country imported 36.4 tons (31,398 kilograms) of marijuana products last year. This marks a notable increase of 26.2% compared to the previous year’s import volume of 24,876 kilograms.

The trend of increasing imports has been consistent through the years. In 2022, the country saw imports of 27.4 tons (24,876 kilograms) of marijuana, reflecting a 19.8% increase from the previous year. The year 2021 saw imports of 22.9 tons (20,771 kilograms), representing a significant surge of 77% over the previous year.

In 2020, imports totaled 12.8 tons (11,746 kilograms), indicating a 46% increase from 2019, while in 2019, Germany imported 8.9 tons (8,057 kilograms) of marijuana, which was an 80% increase from the previous year’s imports. While some of these imports are re-exported to other European Union countries annually, experts suggest that the data underscores the rapid growth of the industry.

Only three businesses were authorized to grow medical cannabis in 2019; these companies were given strict output targets that would last for four years. Due to this restriction, cannabis had to be imported from overseas to meet demand. However, changes in marijuana law have the potential to reduce its dependence on imports in the future. The new law eliminates the quota system, allowing companies to apply for permits to grow medical cannabis through the agency.

Furthermore, the recent revision of the marijuana law, effective April 1, 2024, has reclassified the substance, removing it from the list of narcotics. This regulatory change simplifies the process for patients seeking medical marijuana because they will no longer be required to have a narcotic prescription form. Standard prescriptions will now suffice, likely stimulating demand in the market.

Despite the optimism for increased domestic cultivation, Germany is expected to continue relying on significant imports in the foreseeable future. German-based Demecan’s managing director, Von der Groeben, pointed out Article 21 of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which suggests that domestic demand must be met before imports can be halted. However, he acknowledges that achieving self-sufficiency in marijuana production may take several years.

Canada remained the primary supplier of marijuana to the German market last year, accounting for approximately 50% of imports. Portugal came in second, while the Netherlands was the third-largest supplier.

The further easing of marijuana laws in Germany could create additional opportunities that major players in the North American cannabis landscape, such as Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF), may look to exploit as they expand their footprint in different legal markets.

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