10-POINT PLAN FOR A MEDCANG REFORM
Berlin, 09/27/2023: With its cabinet decision for a Cannabis Act (CanG), the German government has presented a concrete reform proposal that includes groundbreaking regulation to decriminalize consumption cannabis and introduce cultivation clubs. In parallel, the regulations for medical cannabis will be transferred to the newly created Medical Cannabis Act (MedCanG), which is explicitly welcomed by the professional associations. While some of the proposed changes are seen as positive steps, there are major concerns about the continued discrimination against cannabis patients. In particular, the proposed ban on inhaling medical cannabis in public is seen as completely unreasonable and out of touch with reality.
Nine professional associations for medicinal cannabis have now elaborated ten demands for a comprehensive reform of the draft law and presented them in a joint position paper:
- Allow cannabis patients to take cannabis medication without restrictions: The proposed patient spacing provisions in the bill must be eliminated.
- Create equal treatment of cannabis patients in road traffic: Cannabis patients must not be discriminated against in road traffic and fair treatment of their situation must be ensured.
- Authorization requirement harms patients: Unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles that impede access to and reimbursement for medical cannabis must be removed.
- Preserve the medical profession’s therapeutic sovereignty: Physicians must retain full authority to select the best therapeutic options for their patients.
- Eliminate unnecessary penalties for medical cannabis: Penalties that could affect patients for the legal use of medical cannabis must be eliminated.
- Restore equal treatment of finished and prescription medicines: There must be no discrimination against patients who rely on special formulary medicines.
- Promote research projects for cannabis therapies: Research into cannabis as a therapeutic option must be actively supported and advanced through government funding.
- Create legal certainty for medical cannabis: There is no need for a separate “cannabis Rx drug” regulation and a safeguarding order authority for the BfArM.
- Create uniform federal regulations for classifying cannabis as a medicine: Uniform standards and classifications for medicinal cannabis must be established throughout Germany.
- Enable licensing procedures for cultivation in Germany: The possibility of cultivating medical cannabis in Germany must be expanded in order to ensure a safe and sustainable supply.
The joint position paper of the undersigned professional associations with detailed explanations of the above-mentioned demands can be found here: Link. Our professional associations are strongly advocating for these reforms to ensure that cannabis patients receive appropriate care and non-discriminatory treatment.
Contact for the press:
Vice President BvCW, Vice President External Affairs Aurora Europe GmbH
Phone: 0170 6400 306
Dr. Christiane Neubaur
Managing Director of the Association of Cannabis Supplying Pharmacies e.V. (VCA)
Phone: 0171 1415 130
About the associations:
Working Group Cannabis as Medicine e.V. (ACM)
Contact erson: Dr. med. Franjo Grotenhermen & Prof. Dr. med. Kirsten Müller-Vahl
Phone: 05233 953 72 46
The Working Group Cannabis as Medicine (ACM) was founded in 1997 in Cologne. It brings together physicians, pharmacists, patients, lawyers and other interested parties from Germany and Switzerland. Over the past 25 years, the ACM has been instrumental in improving the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids in Germany. For example, a constitutional complaint initiated by the ACM and subsequent test cases before the administrative courts paved the way for exemption permits for the use of cannabis from pharmacies in 2007 and finally for the 2017 law.
The Association of German Cannabis Patients (Bund Deutscher Cannabis-Patienten e.V., BDCan) is a non-profit association that works to ensure that patients are provided with high-quality cannabis medicines in various dosage forms by local pharmacies in private practice and at the expense of the statutory health insurers when a therapy with cannabinoids is indicated. In addition, we offer our members support in setting up self-help groups and provide advice in these groups as well as via our hotline and e-mail on all questions relating to therapy with medical cannabis.
German Cannabis Business Association (BvCW)
Contact person & V.i.S.d.P.: Jürgen Neumeyer, Managing Director
Phone: 0163 9860 888
Technical contact: Dr. Armin Prasch, department coordinator medical cannabis
The BvCW is the voice of the cannabis industry in Germany and represents all industry segments and company sizes to politics and administration. Our specialist areas are divided into “Recreational cannabis regulation”, “Industrial hemp & food”, “Medical cannabis”, “CBD et al.” and “Technology, trade & services”. We bundle industrial policy, technological, scientific and economic expertise and advocate for better political framework conditions.
Federal Association of Pharmaceutical Cannabinoid Companies (BPC)
Contact person: Antonia Menzel
Deputy chairwoman of the board and head of the AG Politik of the Federal Association of Pharmaceutical Cannabinoid Companies (BPC)
Phone: 0162 6661104
The Federal Association of Pharmaceutical Cannabinoid Companies (BPC) ensures patient:in the best possible supply of quality-assured medical cannabis in Germany. The association promotes a sustainable further development of cannabinoid therapies and thus simultaneously strengthens the position of the pharmaceutical cannabinoid industry in Germany and in the international market.
The aim of the BPC is the security of supply of patients with quality-assured medical cannabis. The BPC bundles the expertise of its members and is instrumental in promoting ideal cultivation and supply structures for medical cannabis. This unique combination enables the BPC to represent the interests of the German cannabinoid industry in the best possible way and to position itself clearly vis-à-vis decision-makers.
With our visionary guiding principle “Medical cannabis – health grows!”, the Deutsche Medizinal-Cannabis Gesellschaft e.V. (DMCG) forms a platform for physicians and associated professional groups to work together on the topic of cannabis in medicine. Founded in September 2020, the purpose of the still young professional society is to promote and support scientific and practical work on research into the mode of action as well as the fields of application of cannabis-containing medicines for the prevention, treatment and aftercare of diseases, disease-like impairments or conditions as well as the holistic use in patients in the public health system. The DMCG is patron of the annual Medicinal Cannabis Congress in Berlin.
Interdisciplinary Working Group of Brandenburg Pain Therapists and Palliative Physicians e.V. (IABSP)
Contact: Dr. med. Christoph Wendelmuth & Dr. med. Knud Gastmeier
Phone: 0331 743070
The IABSP working group was founded in Kleinmachnow in 1993. It is a group of physicians and psychotherapists from Brandenburg who are concerned with regional problems related to pain and palliative medicine and who constructively seek solutions. The IABSP has been instrumental in various ways since 2000 in bringing about improvements in the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids in Brandenburg.
Patient Association Self-Help Network Cannabis Medicine (SCM)
Contact person: Gero Kohlhaas & Maximilian Plenert
Phone: 05233 953 72 46
E-Mail: email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
The Self-Help Network Cannabis as Medicine (SCM) is by far the largest and oldest association of cannabis patients in Germany. It is a network of affected persons within the ACM. Together with its trained patient advisors, the local self-help groups and a patient telephone, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Cannabis als Medizin and its self-help network of cannabis patients is the leading point in Germany for those seeking advice and those interested. SCM and ACM e. V. offer information, advice, organizational opportunities and support, and thus foundations for milestones that have been fought for, such as the “Cannabis as Medicine” law.
The avowed goal of the VCA is it to ensure in Germany an efficient and affordable supply of Patient:innen with medical Cannabis. This supply obligation sees the federation completely clearly with the pharmaceutical Expert:innen in the pharmacy. According to § 1 of the German Pharmacy Act, pharmacies are responsible for ensuring the proper supply of medicines to the population in the public interest. This is the point of contact for patients before, during and after receiving a prescription from a doctor. The pharmaceutical staff can provide optimal advice and therapeutic support.