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A mediation committee jeopardises investments, jobs and improvements in patient care

Berlin, 03/13/2024 | In addition to measures to decriminalise adult cannabis users with the newly created Medical Cannabis Act (MedCanG), the Cannabis Act (CanG) passed by the German Bundestag also contains decisive new regulations for the economy and patients.

“Our member companies now need planning, investment and legal certainty. Postponing the entry into force of the law once again jeopardises many livelihoods. The desire for more time for an amnesty and for the states to prepare is understandable, but we entrepreneurs, patients and farmers don’t have that time,” warns Dirk Heitepriem, Vice President of the German Cannabis Business Association (BvCW) and specialist area coordinator for recreational cannabis regulation.

In the German Cannabis Business Association, entrepreneurs from all over Germany are working towards a new view of the hemp plant. “Hemp and cannabis are so much more than just a stimulant. As the cannabis industry, we help seriously ill people, create renewable raw and building materials, produce food, promote environmental protection and so much more. But we are also employers, innovators and part of the economic landscape in Germany,” adds Jürgen Neumeyer, Managing Director of the BvCW.

Due to the discussion about a possible appeal to the mediation committee by the Bundesrat and thus an unclear implementation period, it is currently not possible to make clear plans. Investment, planning and legal certainty are crucial for entrepreneurial action. This certainty is needed now.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach recently made it clear in an interview: “The strategy is to force legalisation in the Bundesrat into the mediation committee – and let the law starve on the long arm until the legislative period is over.” The success of this strategy would therefore probably mean the end of the CanG.

Possible cases of compensation through the amnesty regulation do not justify jeopardising the entire reform, especially as the number is likely to be extremely small. Especially as the BMG and BMJ calculate that there will only be around 7,500 expected cases of judicial review nationwide (each lasting between 5 minutes and an hour). In our opinion, this does not justify a far-reaching delay in the entry into force of the law, which is foreseeable through a mediation procedure in the Bundesrat.

“As the cannabis industry in Germany, we call on the state governments to finally take responsibility for patients, entrepreneurs and farmers and to refrain from further delays caused by a mediation committee. The medical cannabis sector alone involves an investment volume in the three-digit million range in Germany,” says Heitepriem, summarising the current situation.

The members of the BvCW are currently writing to the responsible state ministers in their federal state to prevent the Mediation Committee from being called upon.

You can find an overview of detailed positions and materials in our ELEMENTE publication series.