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scientific advisory board of the cannabis economy

The German Cannabis Business Association [BvCW] has established a scientific advisory board of the cannabis industry in a first round of appointments. The aim of the advisory board is to provide expert support for the work of the industry association. Overall, the BvCW wants to broaden knowledge about cannabis in Germany on a scientific basis, establish sensibly regulated market conditions and promote cooperation between politics, science, business and society.

The members of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Cannabis Industry:

Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Gundula Barsch

Merseburg University of Applied Sciences ・ Faculty of Social Affairs, Media and Culture ・ “Drugs and Social Work” & Research Project “BioenergiePlus”.

Prof. Dr. habil Gundula Barsch holds a doctorate in sociology, a habilitation in social pedagogy and has been employed in the teaching area “Drugs and Social Work” at the HS Merseburg since 1999. Between 1994 and 1998 she was head of the department “Drugs and People in Prison” of the Deutsche AIDS Hilfe. From 1992 to 1995 she was head of the research project “Development of drug use among young people in East Berlin”. For 2 years in 1989, she worked as a research assistant at the addiction clinic of the Wilhelm Griesinger Hospital in East Berlin, focusing on alcohol and alcohol abuse. For another 8 years she was a research associate at the Academy of Sciences of the GDR, Institute for Sociology and Social Policy, research focus “lifestyles”. From 1991 to 1998 she worked with the Federal Association for Accepting Drug Work and Humane Drug Policy. She worked in the National Drug and Addiction Commission at the Federal Ministry of Health from 1998 to 2002. Currently, she is working in the research project “BioenergiePlus” at Merseburg University of Applied Sciences with a focus on the possibilities of cannabis in connection with the lignite phase-out. Furthermore, she has been involved in an ongoing study on self-initiated treatments with cannabis since 2016.

Dr. med. Franjo Grotenhermen

Managing Director of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Cannabis als Medizin e.V. (ACM) and the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines e.V. (IACM).

Franjo Grotenhermen, M.D., completed his medical studies and received his doctorate in Cologne. His fields of practice included internal medicine, surgery and naturopathic medicine. He runs a medical practice in Steinheim (Westphalia) with a focus on therapy with cannabis and cannabinoids. Since 1997, Grotenhermen has been the executive director of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Cannabis als Medizin e.V. (ACM), and since 2000, he has also been the executive director of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) and author of the IACM Information, which appears fortnightly in several languages on the IACM website. Dr. Grotenhermen is an employee of the Cologne-based nova Institute, founder and co-owner of Endoxo GmbH, a company founded in 2019 that manufactures CBD and other hemp products, and since 2019 Head of Scientific Committee of MYCB1, which manufactures medical cannabis products for pharmacies. Further, he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the journals Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, edited by Prof. Daniele Piomelli published by Mary Ann Liebert, and the Scientific Advisory Board of Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, edited by Prof. Rudolf Brenneisen published by Karger. He is Honorary Chairman of the Union Francophone pour les Cannabinoïdes en Médecine (UFCM), as well as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Portugal Medical Cannabis (PTMC). He has received the following awards, among others: Cannabusiness 1999 Hemp Award, IACM 2011 Special Award, ICBC 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, 2018 Robert Newman Memorial Award from Akzept e.V.


apl. Prof. Dr. Simone Graeff-Hönninger

University of Hohenheim・Institute of Crop Sciences & Crop Systems and Modeling WG ・Head of the ZIM research network Cannabis-Net.

Prof. Dr. Simone Graeff-Hönninger received her PhD in agricultural science in 2000 from the Institute of Plant Nutrition at Justus Liebig University Giessen. She achieved her habilitation in 2006 at the University of Hohenheim in the field of crop production and modeling. She has been teaching as an associate professor since 2008 and has been an academic senior councillor since 2015, after 8 years as an academic councillor. Likewise, she has led the Crop Systems and Modeling Working Group since 2015. She was a sub-project leader at the China Agricultural University International Research Training Group to study an interdisciplinary systems approach on “Adaptation of maize-based agricultural production systems for food, feed and biomass production to limited phosphate supplies”. She helped over 20 peer-reviewed research papers to be published. Her selected research projects on hemp, which are funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, investigate e.g. the development of a cultivation and production process of hemp plant extracts as well as a target-oriented drug delivery system for anti-inflammation with a focus on joint disease, or the development of cannabis genetics with indoor cultivation system and a cannabis nanoformulation. Since April 2019, she is head of the German-Canadian ZIM research network “Cannabis-Net”, which conducts research along the value chain of medical cannabis. She is also head of the research cluster “Medical Phytocannabinoid-rich Cannabis (PCR)”.

Simone Graeff-Hönninger

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Justus Haucap

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf・Faculty of Economics ・Director at the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

Prof. Dr. Justus Haucap is director of the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. From 2006 to 2014, he was a member of the Monopolies Commission of the German Federal Government, including four years as Chairman (2008-2012). Professor Haucap is a member of the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) and the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts. From 2015 to 2018, he was Dean of the Faculty of Economics at Heinrich Heine University. After studying economics in Saarbrücken and Ann Arbor (Michigan, USA) and subsequently earning his doctorate at Saarland University, Haucap held professional positions at the University of California (Berkeley, USA), the New Zealand Treasury in Wellington (New Zealand) and the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Hamburg, where he also completed his habilitation in 2003. Prior to his appointment at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (there since 8/2009), Haucap held chairs at Ruhr University Bochum (2003-2007) and Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (2007-2009). His research focuses on the economics of competition and the economics of market regulation. In 2015, the Verein für Socialpolitik awarded Justus Haucap the Gustav Stolper Prize for his contribution “to better understand important competition policy and other economic policy issues and to communicate them to a broad public.” Since 2013, the FAZ has listed him annually among the 30 most influential economists in Germany. In 2018, Prof. Haucap prepared the study on the costs of cannabis prohibition in Germany for the German Hemp Association (DHV).

Prof. Dr. med. Kirsten R. Müller-Vahl

Specialist in Neurology and Psychiatry・Supervisor in the Clinic for Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Hannover Medical School (MHH).

Prof. Dr. med. Kirsten R. Müller-Vahl is a specialist in neurology and psychiatry and senior physician in the Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Hannover Medical School (MHH). She is the 1st chairperson of the “Working Group Cannabis as Medicine” and the “International Working Group Cannabis as Medicine” (IACM) as well as a member of the Expert Committee for Narcotics of the Federal Opium Agency of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM). She was an individual expert in the Committee for Health of the German Bundestag for the hearing on the draft of a law amending narcotics regulations on the marketability and prescribability of additional cannabis medicinal products. In 2017, she received the “IACM Award for Clinical Research for her special achievements regarding the re-introduction of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine”.

She is principal investigator in numerous DFG, BMBF, EU and industry funded studies, including cannabis-based medicines and cannabinoid modulators, has published more than 160 scientific articles and numerous book chapters and is co-editor of the standard work on cannabis as medicine: Müller-Vahl KR, Grotenhermen F (eds). Cannabis als Medizin, Berlin: MWV Medizinisch Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft; 2020. ISBN: 978-3-95466-509-9. She is editor or member of the editorial board of the journals “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research” and “Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids”.

Kirsten Müller-Vahl

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. rer. agr. Christian Ulrichs

Humboldt University Berlin ・Vice Dean Research, Faculty of Life SciencesHead of Department, Urban Ecophysiology of Plants

Prof. Dr. rer. Nat. Dr. rer. agr. Christian Ulrichs graduated in biology from the FU Berlin in 1994 and received his PhD three years later. at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In 2002, he received his doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) from the Technical University of Munich. His research interests include disturbance ecology, chemical interactions as the basis of biocommunication of organisms, sustainability in intensive horticultural production systems, agricultural systems of the future, and integrated pest management. In addition to working as a systems analyst at the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center in Taiwan, he was privileged to serve as a Research Associate at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the United States in 2001. Ulrichs is on the board of the German Horticultural Science Society, a council member of the International Society for Horticultural Science, as well as other memberships in the American Horticultural Society, Innovation Center Technologies for Health and Nutrition of the Technical University of Berlin, Research Network Food Berlin, Fachgruppe Agrarwissenschaft ASIIN e. V., WeGa-Kompetenznetz Gartenbau e. V., and sits on the selection committee of the Elsa Neumann Scholarships of the State of Berlin. With an interim appointment as Honorary Professor in 2005 at the “West Bengal University of Biotechnology” in India, Christian Ulrichs started his career as Professor in 2003 for Urban Horticulture at the HU zu Berlin, where he has been teaching since 2009 under his professorship for the subject “Urban Ecophysiology of Plants”. Since 2003, Ulrichs has been involved in several projects (e.g. CUBES Circle, HORTINELA, GESELL, INKA BB, SaliMed, Salix, Attraction in Action, ZenPGR, EIP IDL,..) where he has been involved as a spokesperson in raising over 40 million Euros. Since 2020, he has been supervising the Deutschlandstipendiaten within the German Cannabis Class at HU Berlin. In addition, he supervises doctoral theses on the influence of cannabinoids and terpenes through the targeted use of elicitors and maintains an analytical laboratory of safety level S1 for the determination of secondary plant constituents including CBD and THC.


Professor Dr. jur. Stephan Quensel

University of Freiburg ・Psychology and Sociology

Professor Dr. jur. Stephan Quensel studied law, psychology and sociology at the University of Freiburg from 1954 to 1965, completed his law studies with the first and second state law examinations and received his doctorate (1964) with Social Psychological Aspects of Criminology. From 1965 to 1974, he worked as an assistant at the newly opened law faculty of the University of Giessen and habilitated there in 1972 with his research on the Rockenberg juvenile detention center. From 1974 to 2001, he held the chair of resocialization and rehabilitation in the social science department at the newly founded University of Bremen. After his retirement, he published his previously postponed works: 2004/2010: The Misery of Addiction Prevention (1st and 2nd edition) and 2016/2017 the historically oriented trilogy: Heretics, Crusades, Inquisition. The Destruction of the Cathars; Madmen, Asylums, Therapy. The Psychiatric Complex; and Witches, Satan, Inquisition. The invention of the witch problem, which appears in 2022 in expanded form as Witch Politics in Early Modern Europe (1400-1800).

Trained as a fully qualified lawyer, teaching and researching as a sociologist, he worked on crime and, since 1980, drug policy: in 1982 with the book Drug Misery, which he popularized in 1985 through a collected publication of his lectures (Living with Drugs). In 1969, together with colleagues from the Arbeitskreis Junge Kriminologen (AjK), he founded the Kriminologische Journal; from 1974 to 2001, he was co-editor of the Monatsschrift für Kriminologie und Strafrechtsreform. In 1974 (until 2020) he took over the chairmanship of the newly founded Hoppenbank-Verein für Straffälligenhilfe in Bremen, and in 2007 he and colleagues founded the anti-prohibition association Schildower Kreis. In 2018, he was awarded the Hemp Eagle by the German Hemp Association for his life’s work.

His research involved, on the one hand, international drug surveys together with colleagues from the USA, the Netherlands, Italy, England and Scotland, summarized in: Wer smucht, der stiehlt… (2009); and on the other hand the institutionally repressive practice: juvenile prison, psychiatry (1984 with H. Lange, H. Vossberg: Betroffen. Anstoß zum Leben mit Widersprüchen in der Psychiatrie) and home education (1996: Drogen im Heim. Grenzen sozialer Arbeit).