Two European countries this week announced figures that show strengthening positions of medical marijuana use. In Germany Insurance reimbursements for medical cannabis continues to hold a very strong position. Whilst they slowed in the third quarter they are still on track to pass the €100 million mark. Whilst over in Italy the Ministry of Health stated his intention to almost triple domestic medical marijuana production in 2020.
Germany has the largest medical marijuana market in Europe, The country is followed by Italy and the Netherlands. From a total monthly figure of just over €6Million at the same time last year, they have topped €10Million in September 2019. They peaked at just under €11.5 million in July.
Whilst Germany is the largest importer of medical marijuana in the World, domestic manufacture is coming online and is expected to be ready by the end of 2020. They import from the Netherlands and Portugal. The latter, of course, is the country that hit the headlines in 2018 by completely decriminalizing drugs as long ago as 2001. Since then the country has seen huge decreases in overdoses, HIV infection and drug-related crime. Australia is expected to begin supplying Germany very soon.
The reimbursements have slowed, but it was always going to be difficult to maintain double-digit growth. However, the figures for the third quarter of 2019 are up by an impressive 9% over the same quarter last year, and a massive 62% up on the year before.
When the final figures are in at the end of the year, total reimbursements in the country are expected to be almost €120 million. This figure, however, does not include the private sector. This data is based purely on retail prices paid at pharmacies. These are the only legal points of sale to German patients.
Currently, most of Italy’s medical marijuana is produced by the Dutch company Bedrocan. A smaller amount comes from the Canadian company Aurora Cannabis. The country wants to rely less on these foreign imports by developing the domestic market. A decree published in the country’s official Gazette Staes that the Ministry Health is to permit Stabilimento Chimico Farmaceutico di Firenze (SCFF) to grow 500 kilograms of cannabis flower. SCFF is the only organization permitted to grow marijuana in Italy.
Italian business lawyer Giuseppe Libutti stated that whilst this shows a positive move on behalf of the government it also “confirms the SCFF’s inability to satisfy the growing demand. Imports will continue to be needed because planned domestic production won’t be enough.”
The SCFF along with the Tuscany Region agreed on a joint venture to produce, generate evidence on the efficacy and look further into the safety of the drug. The three-year project that they are working on concentrates on three specific areas:
- Production of cannabis flower for medical use.
- Standardization of oil extracts.
- Design and execution of clinical trials.
The Future of Medical Marijuana
These reports from two highly influential European countries are extremely positive. They show that as government laws are slackened and the efficacy of medical cannabis use is proved, the business looks like having an extremely bright future. Germany and Italy are leading the way in the use of medical marijuana.
As Portugal slackened its drug laws other countries were watching closely. Luxembourg also announced plans to legalize cannabis in August of this year. The country also called on its European Union neighbors to do the same. Their Health Minister, Etienne Schneider, said at the time, “This drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work. Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people … I’m hoping all of us will get a more open-minded attitude toward drugs.”
Keep up with other news on medical marijuana here.
More Evidence that Medical Marijuana Can Reduce Opioid Dependency.
It has long been argued that medical marijuana can be an effective tool in the fight against opioid dependency. Now a new study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, has found what it describes as “behavioral economic evidence” that this can be true is patients using it for pain relief. By using an online survey the researchers were able to assess the frequency and dependency of both opioid and cannabis use in adults.
Medical Marijuana Strongly Beneficial Compared to Opioids
The Survey showed, “Adults reporting current use of opioids for pain management and past 30-day cannabis exposure…completed two hypothetical purchase tasks in which only grams of cannabis or units of participants’ index opioids were available for purchase, and two hypothetical tasks in which both were concurrently available and the price of one drug increased whereas the other was kept constant.”
This is terrific news for advocates of medical marijuana use.
Check out the full story on the High Times Website
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Scotland Gets its 1st Cannabis Farm
It was only two months ago that Scotland’s first medical cannabis clinic opened. Not it’s all set to get its first medical cannabis farm. Legal issues have been overcome and the farm in question has been given permission to build a huge 3.7 acre greenhouse to grow medical marijuana.
Cannabis Farm comes Just 2 Years after Legalization of Medical Weed in the UK.
The family business run by William and Neil Ewart is in Langholm in the county of Dumfriesshire in the West of Scotland. All the crops grown in the greenhouse will be processed to manufacture cannabis oil which will, in turn, be sold to British pharmaceutical companies.
Read the full story on the Merry Jane website
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Medical Cannabis up 50% in Italy in 2019
It was a very good year in Italy for medical cannabis with sales staying ahead of the Netherlands. Patients in Italy were responsible for the purchase of 861 Kilos (almost 1,900lbs) during the year. That is a huge increase on the 578 Kilos) purchased from Italian dispensaries during the year 2018.
Italy Still Behind Germany on Medical Cannabis Sales
A huge amount is imported from the Netherlands, however the domestic growing market is steadily improving. It is hoped that in spite of the coronavirus pandemic, which has had a devastating effect in the country, Sales will stay high for 2020.
Germany, Italy and the Netherlands remain the big three markets in Europe.
Read the full story on the Marijuana Business Daily Website
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