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The State of Cannabusiness in Germany

The State of Cannabusiness in Germany

As a cannabis business executive, you undoubtedly have been following some of the significant events happening in Europe and you have asked yourself: “How does this affect my plans?”

It may be the German government establishing a nationwide medical marijuana program, or news about the Canadian companies buying or merging with their European counterparts that has your attention. But you know the times are a changin’ and you might want to benefit from this historic moment in our Industry.

For those companies that already have a strategic international plan in place, the opportunities are boundless.  Germany, a nation with 2.5 times the population of California, is leading the way with the a national, Federal-government approved, medical marijuana law already in place, and numerous regional efforts to establish recreational use are getting off the ground as I write this column.

Having been an advocate in California during the medical marijuana legalization push of 1990s, and now living here in Germany as they build their own regulated marketplace, it has been fun to be involved. I’d now like to share some of the organizations that may be able to help you and your company, if Europe is indeed on your radar.

Das Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (BfArM) is the German federal government’s  Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices and is lead by Professor Dr. Karl Broich. Their website is www.bfarm.de and they are basically the cannabis bureau of Germany, charged with implementing the medical marijuana law.  Interestingly, they will also be the sole purchaser of foreign-produced medical marijuana products, and then oversee the distribution exclusively though licensed pharmacies.

So Germans will be going to their local pharmacy to obtain their medicine, which officially should be paid by their insurance company.  Of course, the details are still being worked out, and I know of at least two lawsuits against insurance companies not paying for their clients medicine.

Last month, the BfArM put out a call for bids for the first ten authorized grow licenses in the history of Germany.  Negotiations are underway and the winning bidders should be announced shortly.  We will keep you updated on this, and all important details emanating from Europe, in future columns.

The Deutscher Hanfverband (DHV) is the German Hemp Association in Berlin and a fantastic resource and advocacy organization. They have been instrumental in getting the country to this point and their website is https://hanfverband.de I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter (which can easily be translated.)  Their next big event is the Hanf Parade in Berlin in August which will bring together over 10,000 advocates calling for open access.

For companies that want to get serious about being in Europe, the best organization I know of is the German Trade and Investment office located in Berlin which is part of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs. Their website is www.gtai.de.

Their knowledge is vast, their connections incredible, and there is no charge for their services. They want to make it easy for international companies in our space to help Germany build their regulated marketplace. They provide advanced research, site-selection, tax information. And.. they are just an email or phone call away.

Of course, there are a total of 51 independent states that make up Europe and 28 of those make up the European Union.  To some degree all of these countries are changing the way they treat medical marijuana and CBD products.

If you are looking for some opportunities in this region, I would suggest looking not only at Germany, but also The Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. Although Israel is not in the EU region, their expertise, leading edge research, products and capabilities are to be noted.

Before concluding, I need to give a shout out to Mr. Alex Rogers and his team at ICBC Berlin who put together one of the best industry events I have ever attended.  Back in April, in Berlin, almost 1000 attendees and exhibitors from throughout the world gathered to share information, make connections and close business deals.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the Cannabis Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, was the keynote speaker and shared stories on his German ancestry, his first meeting with Ronald Reagan, and why legalizing our plant makes sense in so many ways.

Tommy Chong was also in attendance, was way coherent, and meeting him was definitely one of my personal highlights.  Yes, I admit it, I listened to his albums way back in 1971.

So I wish you a productive, successful and fun month ahead as we collectively take the next steps to “Make Cannabis Great Again” here in Europe, and wherever you are reading this in the world.

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The German government finally passed its legalization framework for medical cannabis consumption in March 2017. The country’s market is expected to record modest growth with its high 82 million population and a policy that allows prescriptions to be paid through health insurance plans, …MOTLEY FOOL article

Which Top Marijuana Company Will Capture Germany?

The German government finally passed its legalization framework for medical cannabis consumption in March 2017. The country’s market is expected to record modest growth with its high 82 million population and a policy that allows prescriptions to be paid through health insurance plans, thus potentially encouraging patients to explore medical cannabis health benefits.

Local marijuana producers with vast experience in mass growing of high quality product and hungry to capture the lucrative €12 – €15 a gram (roughly C$17 – C$21.75 per gram) German medical cannabis market, have been taking positions in growing their international business portfolios.

Some of the top local growers have already established footprints in Germany, but which among the local players is likely to gain significant traction in the new market?

Canopy Growth Corp

The local market leader, Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED) has already made a significant investment in Germany. The company acquired MedCann GmbH Pharma & Nutraceuticals (MedCann) back in November 2016. MedCann, a distributor, has successfully placed Canopy’s Tweed branded cannabis strains into German pharmacies.

The German distribution model strictly  confines cannabis sales to the pharmacy distribution model and no direct sales shall be allowed. Since all sales shall take the wholesale distribution channel, Canopy is already at a first mover advantage in this market.

Canopy has indicated that it is interested in producing cannabis locally in Germany with the expansion of the local program. With Germany expecting to launch a domestic cannabis cultivation initiative by 2019, Canopy is likely to try broadening its expansion program in the country.

Aphria Inc.

Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH) has recently announced an international expansion program that is currently focused on the United States market, and has committed $25 million to an investment in Florida. Its not yet clear whether it intends to make serious investments in the new German market, but it has been eyeing this market for some time.

Although it had not yet made any formal engagements in Germany by January 2017, the CEO Vic Neufeld, in an interview with the Midas Letter openly stated that Germany has been very much on Aphria’s radar, and the company once engaged in dialogue with two different organisations pertaining the German market.

However, Aphria has been very cautious in their Canada and U.S. expansion programs so far. It seems the company has a slow-but-sure approach to doing business as its Canadian operations have shown, so I do not expect an overly vigorous and aggressive German expansion program from them.

Aurora Cannabis Inc.

One of the fastest growing and most aggressive marijuana producers, Aurora Cannabis Inc.(TSXV:ACB), has recently announced a $75 million convertible debenture offering which is likely to close on April 26, 2017, with a clear intent of using the funds to “aggressively pursue international expansion opportunities,” says CEO Terry Booth.

The company believes the $185 million cash position gives them the strongest cash balance “in the global cannabis sector,” and Aurora wants to play a leading role “in multiple emerging global cannabis markets.” 

Its most likely Aurora may attempt a German expansion route. Given the company’s growth style, it goes big on ventures and seeks aggressive expansion. These traits have seen it emerging to become a serious top contender in the Canadian marijuana space in a very short time.

Most noteworthy, Aurora is already listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Germany and raising expansion funds locally may be relatively easier.

Investor takeaway.

Its not yet clear who among these top marijuana companies may become a serious investor in Germany, but Canopy already commands a serious lead.

There are other serious Canadian contenders to the German market, like the soon-to-be-listed Maricann Group Inc, which is already trying to acquire an 800,000 square foot facility and likely seeking a cultivation license in Germany, and  CanniMed Therapeutics and the Cronos Group who already have distribution relationships in the European country.

However, there will be competition from Netherlands entities too, but the market may not be that big enough to support massive investment as yet. Canadian growers who manage to capture the infant German market may be rewarded though, as they will gain first mover advantages into the opening European market.

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https://cenedella.de/ * Philip J. Cenedella IV * International Cannabis Consultant * Germany, Europe, USA and Canada markets * Medical Marijuana Patient Advocate since 1977 * Assist with Business Development, Licensing, Partnerships, and Strategic Direction.

Philip J. Cenedella IV

Bio

https://cenedella.de/
Philip J. Cenedella IV
International Cannabis Consultant
Medical Marijuana Patient Advocate since 1977.

First and foremost, Phil is a patient advocate for 4 decades having grown up in New York during the Rockefeller Drug Law years, then establishing himself in San Diego during the push for legalization there in the’ 90s.  Now he is situated in Germany during its historic transition into the leadership role of the European Cannabis industry.

Phil is uniquely qualified to help you establish your international business strategy having served as a Founding Board Member of the World Trade Center San Diego, a Lead Consultant for Deutsche Telekom, The California Trade and Investment Office, Deutsche Bank, IBM, San Diego Economic Development Board and many other entities.  He puts his years of business development, sales and distribution expertise to work for you in a highly professional, ethical and effective manner.

40 Years Experience:
Phil was born in Buffalo on the shores of the US/Canadian border, spent most of his life in San Diego overlooking the US/Mexico border, and now is living in Europe with its open borders and the opening of its legal Cannabis industry.

As a C-level business development executive in the technology and construction sectors, and a Founding Board of Director for the World Trade Center San Diego and San Diego Software Council, Phil has facilitated and closed sales and strategic partnerships worldwide.

Phil has also been Lead Consultant for the California Trade and Investment Office in Germany and catalyst for the CAL-IT Investment Forum in London.

He has served as a consultant for IBM, George Clinton, Deutsche Telekom, iSeeTV,  San Diego Convention Center, FINDLAW, Chaparral Computers and Networks, San Diego Economic Development Corporation, Deutsche Bank and many others in the Cannabis space (to remain confidential).

Phil is a USA citizen with an EU Work/Residence Permit.  He has exactly 40 years of firsthand knowledge of all aspects of our Industry and is a C-level International business development specialist who is highly professional yet very easy to work with.  He provides your firm with Strategic guidance and the ability to help you to increase your sales channels, distribution networks, and strategic partnerships.

Education:
1984, University of Dayton B.A. Psychology, Music minor-emphasis

Skill Level:
Sales 98%
Business Development 98%
International  trade 98%
Cannabis Industry 420%

Testimonials

 Who is Phil:
“Phil is an absolute professional. Flexible, hardworking and driven. His results were great and we highly recommend his services.” – BLF, NYC

“Phil has boundless enthusiasm and always applies 100% effort to all he does. Phil researched the US market for…. The USA became our best market by far, and I know that we would never have broken into that extremely tough market without Phil. His combination of broad based business knowledge, willingness to learn, team spirit and superb networking skills is very rare and extremely valuable. Always positive, he was a joy to work with. I thoroughly recommend him.” – GRB, UK

“Phil Cenedella has been my contact for several years and I have found him to be the consummate professional. He will always promptly return a call or provide me an answer to an inquiry. He is always “on-it” and truly treats a client as if they were part of his extended family. It’s very rare these days to find someone as dedicated to his business and his clients as Phil. Phil has all the characteristics of what I look for when I have occasion to be expanding my staff. He is honest to a fault, dedicated, sincere and is the paramount reason for my firm’s continuing…….” – DF ,USA

“Phil is the most personable, genuine, charismatic and effective business development manager I have had the pleasure to work with. He instills trust and confidence!”- JFL, EU

“Phil is family.” – George Clinton
Volunteer Positions:    Founder, Dayton and La Jolla Human Trafficking Accords, Founder, St. Vincent de Paul Christmas Caroling and Limo Party, Volunteer, Americans for Safe Access, Advisor, City of Hope – Dubai  Key accomplishments:  Assisted with the freeing from prison a child victim of human trafficking serving life without parole, initiated Goldman Sachs’ divestment of a human-trafficking related publication, assisted advocates on the frontlines in Dubai, Ohio, California and elsewhere.