Updated on January 22, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The German Parliament passed the 2017 Act Amending Narcotics and Other Regulations, legalizing marijuana use for those with qualified medical conditions. This legislature is unique from many other nations, as patients only need to get a prescription as opposed to a medical marijuana card.
Although the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) has created the Cannabis Agency to oversee medical marijuana in the country, it’s not responsible for direct oversight of medical cannabis patients. This responsibility has been passed on to individual physicians.
Possession of lesser amounts of marijuana is not usually penalized in Germany. However, patients who have a prescription for cannabis don’t need to worry about prosecution or the fines associated if they’re found guilty.
Other benefits of having a medical marijuana prescription from a physician include:
Since the German medical marijuana system is different, patients don’t need to get a card to access cannabis medications. They do, however, need to work with their physician to obtain a prescription.
The first step is meeting with a doctor who is both licensed to practice medicine and authorized to prescribe narcotics. After reviewing the patient’s medical history and conducting a thorough examination, the doctor will determine if cannabis is in the best interest of the patient
If the patient has exhausted all other avenues of treatment, the physician may fill out a prescription. The prescription will include dosage information and the type of cannabis the doctor recommends. Patients can have their prescriptions filled at any pharmacy in Germany that has medical marijuana medication.
Doctors can write prescriptions for a 30-day supply of cannabis, which can be up to 100,000 mg. When this runs out, the patient will need to return to their physician for an additional prescription.
The new medical marijuana legislation in Germany gives much of the power to prescribe to the doctor. It treats medical marijuana like any other narcotic, and trusts physicians will use their professional judgment before recommending it. The only requirements are that the physician is both licensed to practice medicine and has a license to prescribe narcotics. Other than that, BfArM advises the following:
Although the Cannabis Agency doesn’t specifically oversee medical marijuana usage by patients, they do offer some helpful information to patients looking for answers. Check out the Information for Patients page on the BfArM website.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we provide tons of resources to those looking for information about medical marijuana both here in the U.S. and abroad. Our interesting blog posts also discuss some of the trickiest topics and address concerns you may have about cannabis usage. We’re here for those who want to find out more about the incredible benefits of this unassuming plant.