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Berlin, 02/07/2023: The motion passed today in the CDU/CSU parliamentary group “Improve patient care with cannabis medicines – strengthen education and prevention for children and adolescents” offers good approaches to the currently pending need for improvement in the supply of patients with cannabis medicines.

In this regard, Dr. Armin Prasch, Department Coordinator Medical Cannabis in the German Cannabis Business Association e.V. (BvCW) explains:
“Despite the positive development for patients, 5 years after the introduction of the Cannabis-as-Medicine Act, it is correctly stated that there is further need for action to improve and secure the care of patients in the long term. This includes the reduction of reservations due to a lack of expertise for cannabis therapies, the high bureaucratic hurdles of the approval requirement for the reimbursement of therapy costs and the associated, too high rejection rates in conjunction with the often very long waiting times, which are contrary to the mandate of the law.”

The managing director of the BvCW, Jürgen Neumeyer, comments on the political process in this regard:
“The CDU/CSU is thus the first parliamentary group in the German Bundestag to take up the need for reform in cannabis medicines, the therapeutic sovereignty of physicians and the indications with a motion in this legislature. Statements by individual members of parliament from the “traffic light” government faction also indicate a comprehensive willingness to reform medical cannabis. Thus, a broad political basis for the readjustment to deal with medical cannabis is visible. This would tie in with the joint introduction of the “Cannabis as Medicine Act”, which was even passed unanimously in the Bundestag in 2017.

Explicitly, the approval requirement of the health insurance funds and the criterion of so-called “Austherapiertheit” should be waived. Provisions on waiving recourse against the medical profession must be included. With this broad political basis emerging, we hope that the necessary reforms will be implemented quickly. There is no need to wait for the controlled, legal dispensing of cannabis as a stimulant when it comes to the need for reform of cannabis as a medicine. There is now strong social support for the use of cannabis medicines.”

The BvCW expressly welcomes the following demands in the CDU/CSU motion as a sensible approach:

  • Priority assurance and supply of patients with medical cannabis, should there be a controlled dispensing of stimulant cannabis to adults.
  • Establishment of a uniform nationwide framework for dealing with medical cannabis.
  • The strengthening or preservation of physicians’ therapeutic sovereignty in the prescription of medicinal cannabis must be established, ideally through a concrete waiver of the bureaucratic, time-consuming and often highly controversial licensing procedure. To this end, the BvCW specifically proposes the abolition of the authorization requirement and a regulation on waiving recourse against the medical profession.
  • The final report on the companion survey identified both evidence of the potential of medical cannabis therapies and research gaps. The need for consistent and fact-based research and further data collection was thus reconfirmed. The BvCW expressly supports demands that the medical benefits and their potential side effects of medical cannabis therapies must be specifically investigated; this on the basis of, for example, a national or Europe-wide controlled data collection on therapy progress for all medical cannabis indications. For this purpose, the BvCW strives for cooperation projects between patients, physicians and pharmacists together with industry and politics. Public research funding is necessary in the opinion of the BvCW.

Further publications of the cannabis economy on the topic of medical cannabis:

ELEMENTE Vol. 3: Positions & Goals of the BvCW on Medical Cannabis

Cross association press releases on the topic of medical cannabis:
11/30/2022: Patient back to the black market? – Joint Federal Committee threatens established care of seriously ill patients with cannabis as medicine
09/07/2022: The supply of medical cannabis must be improved
incl. position paper on the protection of medical cannabis