PHIL420

Patient Advocate since 1977


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What Happens When Germany Has One Million Cannabis Patients? (804,687,322 pounds?) – by Bill Griffin / Marijuanatimes.org

https://www.marijuanatimes.org/what-happens-when-germany-has-one-million-cannabis-patients/

Germany – the EU’s most populous state with 82 million people – is about to offer cannabis on medical insurance. When that happens, demand will soar.

Germany’s lower house of parliament passed a bill legalizing the production, sale and use of medical marijuana on January 19th, 2017.

The bill is restricted to the sale and use of cannabis to patients, and there is no provision for home growing. This means that all cannabis (sold legally) in Germany will come via a doctor’s prescription and from a pharmacy – just like any other prescription drug.

This ensures that the cannabis distributed is of a consistent quality and, most importantly, a consistent strength. It doesn’t ensure that it is especially interesting for cannabis connoisseurs or recreational users in terms of look, taste, smell or effects.

But thanks to the German bill, cannabis will be available through health insurance plans, which is a good thing as currently what is available in the pharmacy is a lot more expensive than what you can buy on the streets.

“Those who are severely ill need to get the best possible treatment and that includes health insurance funds paying for cannabis as a medicine for those who are chronically ill if they can’t be effectively treated any other way,” said Health Minister Hermann Groehe to Reuters.

Beginning last year, Germany has been distributing cannabis flowers through pharmacies on a case per case basis. This created a sizeable market of a few thousand patients that – due to the fact that Germany does not currently allow the cultivation of cannabis – is met through imports from (legal) cannabis producing countries, such as the Netherlands and Canada.

This is going to change. Companies are already rapidly putting together blueprints and applications to legally cultivate cannabis in Germany. Some of these companies are already importing and building up their distribution contacts and networks. As soon as they have the green light to cultivate, they will be building local facilities to meet the increasing demand.

Just how big this demand will be is currently based on estimates. Germany is a cannabis-friendly country, with 23.1% of the adult population having consumed cannabis. That’s nearly 19 million people, which given cannabis’ illegality at the time of the survey will include both medical and recreational users. To put things in perspective, Germany’s population is more than double that of California, with 82 million versus 39 million inhabitants.

Let’s say a conservative estimate of people enrolled on Germany’s medical cannabis programme will be a cool one million.

If an average patient consumes 1 gram per day – which is low or high, depending on your ailment – that would mean each patient would require 365 grams per year. Multiply that by a million and we are talking 365 metric tons – or 804,687,322 pounds. That’s a lot of pot and it’s going to take a lot of cultivation space to produce.

Who’s going to grow it?

As there is no entrance into the market for home growers or caregivers like in many U.S. states, this is going to have to be produced by companies running facilities with good agricultural practice (GAP), good distribution practice (GDP) and good manufacturing processes (GMP). You don’t get to distribute any drug in a pharmacy without such high quality control – especially in Germany.

As you can imagine, this is creating a feeding frenzy for big actors in the cannabis industry. In April, they will be convening in Berlin for the first European-based International Cannabis Business Conference. Local players with cultivation licenses will be seeking capital to meet the exacting requirements that only Germany can define. International money men will be homing in on those that can give them a great return on investment in this soon-to-be exceedingly lucrative market.

The result will be that patients in Germany will have safe access to cannabis-related medicines.

Every time a patient visits the pharmacy, they know that what they are going to get will be more or less the same as what they had the previous time. Their cannabis will be grown without human intervention in automated cultivation rooms. Biological engineers will be monitoring the grow installation and laboratories will test the end product to ensure that the cannabinoid profiles will remain consistent from batch to batch.

Once complete, the buds will be irradiated of soil microorganisms and they will be packaged and stored in perfect conditions until it is handed to the patient in a white paper bag and a smile from their local pharmacist.

All cannabis culture has been methodically stripped out of the cannabis that will be distributed.

As a hobby home grower and recreational user – self-medicating in the absence of legislation that will allow me to get a prescription – I find this a rather sad ending to the calls for legalisation from millions of Europeans over the last 50 years. I have to admit, for many patients getting true medicinal grade cannabis free from pests, diseases or any adulterants is a good thing; growing cannabis to this level of consistency at home is virtually impossible. I’m not discounting it for recreational use, but in the way we class “medicine” in modern society it is not something that we produce in our homes – that’s called a “remedy”. Collectively and with empirical data to back it up we have agreed that medicine should be sterile. Cannabis from your greenhouse is far from sterile.

This arrangement will line the pockets of big investors and local entrepreneurs, but will also provide safe medicine to those who need it most. People who would never dream of growing their own or sourcing through a network of growers will be able to benefit from a medicine that has no adverse side effects.

The genie will be well and truly out of the bottle. More people in society will come to accept cannabis and see that the negative propaganda of the past was based on lies.

Increased cultivation, distribution and monitoring of patients will provide data that will have positive results. Science will finally be able to study cannabis, cannabinoids, terpenes and all the other components that make up the cannabis plant. This will lead to more breakthroughs and medical applications.

Germany is the largest population in Europe, and once they show that this can work, other countries will inevitably follow their lead.

However, for many activists this is not the end game; cannabis through pharmacies is just phase one. Ultimately, Germany will legalize cannabis for recreational use. That’s how it works, just look at the pattern in the U.S. and Canada. First, you legalize for medical use, then you decriminalize for recreational use, then you get full on legal cannabis to anyone who is old enough to buy it.

When that day comes there won’t just be one million medical patients; the full 23.1% of the German population that tried it will be able to consume without the guilt or anxiety that prohibition creates. This demand could only be met from decentralised local producers. This is where the connoisseurs will benefit. I dream of the day when, instead of dropping in my local wine shop, I stop by my local cannabis dispensary to see what delights they have on offer. It’s some way off at the moment, but my money’s on this becoming a reality in the not-too-distant future.


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Cannabis as medicine: Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices is setting up cannabis agency for future cannabis cultivation in Germany

Press release number7/17
Date 03.03.2017

With the coming into force of the law “Cannabis as medicine”, a cannabis agency is established in the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices ( BfArM ). The cannabis agency will control and control the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes in Germany. Immediately after its establishment, the cannabis agency will start an EU- wide tendering procedure and then award contracts for cultivation to suitable companies. The aim is to ensure the supply of low-skilled patients with pharmaceutical-grade cannabis grown in Germany.

Lutz Stroppe, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health: “In the future, trafficked patients will be able to receive cannabis in medicinal quality from the statutory health insurance scheme. This is a good and important step to relieve pain and suffering. The Cannabis Agency at the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices will ensure that cannabis cultivation in Germany is controlled and controlled.

BfArM President Prof. Dr. Karl Broich: “The new law is an important step for disabled patients who are dependent on the supply of cannabis medicines. With the Cannabis Agency, we are helping to ensure their supply of cannabis in pharmaceutical quality. In addition, we will be able to gain further important insights into the medicinal use of cannabis with the companion. ”

The cannabis agency is established as a new specialty in the “Special Therapies” section of the BfArM . Further tasks will be settled at the Bundespiumstelle in the BfArM . This includes a companion survey to gain further insights into the effects of cannabis as a medicine. As before, the Federal Office will also monitor the imports of cannabis, which ensure the care of the patients, as long as no harvest can take place in Germany. The BfArM assumes that cannabis from the cultivation will be available in Germany in 2019, since the cultivation under the anesthetic and medicinal law regulations must first be implemented. The import of cannabis will also be possible beyond this time. Currently, cannabis is imported from the Netherlands and Canada for medical purposes. Basically, cannabis can be imported from any country that can carry out the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes under state control and can offer cannabis in medicinal quality.

Cannabis will be grown exclusively for medical purposes. It is therefore a medicine. This cannabis must therefore meet all drug and narcotic requirements. Only such cannabis will be used, which has been grown according to the “Good Practice and Collection Practice” (GACP) and meets the requirements of the relevant monographs and guidelines.

When cultivation takes place in Germany, the cannabis agency will take possession of the crop and control delivery to pharmacies to provide care to patients. However , cultivation is not carried out in the BfArM or by the BfArM itself, but by companies selected in the tendering procedure and commissioned by the cannabis agency. The harvest is not transported to the BfArM , it is not stored there, nor is it redistributed from there. These steps will be located spatially at the respective construction companies or other commissioned companies. According to the provisions of the Single Convention, the cannabis agency must buy the cannabis. The cannabis agency will then set a producer’s fee and sell the cannabis to cannabis drug manufacturers, wholesalers or pharmacies. The BfArM is not allowed to make any profits or surpluses. In the case of pricing, however, the personnel and material costs incurred by the BfArM are taken into account. However , the BfArM does not have any influence on the actual fee in the pharmacy . The distribution channels of manufacturers and dealers will comply with the legal regulations and are thus identical with the regulations for the distribution of other drugs containing narcotic drugs. The BfArM is not allowed to make any profits or surpluses. In the case of pricing, however, the personnel and material costs incurred by the BfArM are taken into account. However , the BfArM does not have any influence on the actual fee in the pharmacy . The distribution channels of manufacturers and dealers will comply with the legal regulations and are thus identical with the regulations for the distribution of other drugs containing narcotic drugs. The BfArM is not allowed to make any profits or surpluses. In the case of pricing, however, the personnel and material costs incurred by the BfArM are taken into account. However , the BfArM does not have any influence on the actual fee in the pharmacy . The distribution channels of manufacturers and dealers will comply with the legal regulations and are thus identical with the regulations for the distribution of other drugs containing narcotic drugs.

In view of the expected and required consumption and harvest quantities, the BfArM will be determined in the tender. However, the exact future demand for quantities can only be estimated at present. So far, about 1,000 patients had an exemption for the acquisition of cannabis for medical purposes. With an average daily requirement of one gram per person, 365 kilograms per year would be needed to supply these patients continuously via the prescription of cannabis. For the future, it will be necessary to look closely at how the prescription behavior develops and to what extent cannabis is an adequate treatment for patients.

By the entry into force of the amended amending act, the prescription capacity for further cannabis medicines is established. In the future, doctors can also prescribe medicinal cannabis blossoms or cannabis extract in pharmaceutical quality on an anesthetic prescription. They must comply with drug and narcotic drug requirements. In addition to the new regulations, the existing therapeutic and prescription options for the finished medicinal products Sativex® and Canemes® as well as the prescription drug Dronabinol will continue.

The BfArM is not advised on the therapy itself or on the application areas of cannabis medicines. As with other medicines, the BfArM does not offer any therapeutic recommendations. Delivery of the corresponding medicinal products to the patients will take place after the administration of the narcotics prescription in the pharmacy. The previous licensing procedure pursuant to § 3 para. 2 BtMG for the acquisition of medical cannabis for the purpose of medically-assisted self-therapy will be dispensed with.

Individual patients will in future be given medicinal cannabis or cannabis extract. Cannabis blossoms consist of the flowering, dried shoots of the female plant of Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae). The two main ingredients involved in the action of cannabis are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. The content of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol varies according to variety.
A cannabis extract is made from cannabis flowers using a pharmaceutical grade excerpt. An extract contains a certain content of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and is converted in the pharmacy into a customary pharmaceutical dosage form such as, for example, capsules or dripping solution, For the intake by the patients processed.
Only limited information on efficacy and safety has so far been available on the use of cannabis and non-authorized cannabis extracts. Despite numerous publications, the amount of scientific data actually available is currently low. Therefore the attendance of the escort, which will be carried out in the Bundesopiumstelle, is of particular importance. Physicians report to the BfArM anonymized data for the therapy with cannabis medicines, which are collected over 5 years and then evaluated. Despite numerous publications, the amount of scientific data actually available is currently low. Therefore the attendance of the escort, which will be carried out in the Bundesopiumstelle, is of particular importance. Physicians report to the BfArM anonymized data for the therapy with cannabis medicines, which are collected over 5 years and then evaluated. Despite numerous publications, the amount of scientific data actually available is currently low. Therefore the attendance of the escort, which will be carried out in the Bundesopiumstelle, is of particular importance. Physicians report to the BfArM anonymized data for the therapy with cannabis medicines, which are collected over 5 years and then evaluated.

These data will then allow a general assessment to be made as to whether the use of cannabis medicinal products in unauthorized indications involves more opportunities than risks. They can be the basis for further clinical research with cannabis medicinal products, with the aim of achieving long-term approval of cannabis-based finished medicinal products.

 

http://www.bfarm.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/DE/2017/pm7-2017.html?nlId=8664204


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Republican Congressman Introduces Bill That Would Resolve the Conflict Between State and Federal Marijuana Laws, Allow States to Determine Their Own Policies – CBE

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s Respect State Marijuana Laws Act exempts marijuana consumers and businesses from federal criminal penalties if they are acting in compliance with state marijuana laws

By Robert Capecchi

WASHINGTON — Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday that would resolve the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws and allow states to determine their own marijuana policies.

The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act exempts individuals and entities from certain provisions of the Controlled Substances Act if they are acting in compliance with state marijuana laws. This is the third time Rohrabacher has introduced the bill. Twenty of his colleagues in the House, including seven Republicans, co-sponsored the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015, which was introduced in the 114th Congress.

“This is commonsense legislation that is long overdue,” said Robert Capecchi, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It is time to end marijuana prohibition at the federal level and give states the authority to determine their own policies.

“States throughout the country are effectively regulating and controlling marijuana for medical or broader adult use,” Capecchi said. “Federal tax dollars should not be wasted on arresting and prosecuting people who are following their state and local laws.”

Eight states and D.C. have enacted laws making possession and cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older. Four states — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — have established systems for regulating the production and sale of marijuana for adult use. Four additional states that adopted such laws in November — California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada — are in the process of setting up similar systems. Twenty-eight states, D.C., and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws that allow seriously ill patients to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Eighteen additional states have adopted limited and/or unworkable medical marijuana laws.

“Nine out of 10 Americans now live in states that have rejected federal marijuana prohibition by adopting some sort of marijuana policy reform,” Capecchi said. “This legislation would ease the tension between state and federal laws to ensure these state-level reforms are successful. It would also help states address the public health and safety priorities shared by state and federal authorities.”

A national Gallup poll released in October shows public support for making marijuana legal in the U.S. has reached a record high of 60%, up from 58% in 2015 and 50% in 2011. The Pew Research Center also released a national poll in October showing support at 57%, up from 53% in 2015. In August 2015, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) approved a resolution urging the federal government to allow states to determine their own marijuana policies.

“The call for federal marijuana policy reform is growing louder and louder,” said Don Murphy, MPP director of conservative outreach. “Congress needs to listen to their constituents and to state lawmakers, most of whom agree marijuana policy is an issue best left to the states. This is a bipartisan solution that ought to find support on both sides of the aisle.”