Updated on December 28, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Up until early 2017, patients who wished to get medical marijuana in Germany had to receive an exemption from the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM). However, in March 2017, the German Parliament passed the Act Amending Narcotics and Other Regulations, which legalizes medical marijuana and allows more patients to seek cannabis treatments.
Like most countries, patients in Germany must visit a physician to authorize their use of medical marijuana. However, there is no set list of qualifying conditions. BfArM has established a Cannabis Agency, but its main responsibility is to oversee the cultivation and production of medical marijuana in Germany.
Doctors should familiarize themselves with the scientific data surrounding the use of cannabis as medication. But beyond that, BfArM encourages them to use their judgment when prescribing medical marijuana.
To receive a prescription, patients must have:
Even though Germany has created a new Cannabis Agency to oversee medical marijuana production in the country, it doesn’t manage prescriptions. They will receive anonymous data about the types of prescriptions issued to make sure there is no misuse. However, to get a prescription for cannabis, patients will deal directly with their physicians — there are no medical marijuana cards.
Interested patients will need to follow these steps:
The main function of the Cannabis Agency is to oversee the implementation of cannabis grow facilities. They will choose among qualified applicants who have experience in the marijuana industry, and these businesses will grow and produce cannabis. The Cannabis Agency will ensure all German-grown medical marijuana is safe, effective and high-quality. The plan is to have native cannabis in German pharmacies by 2019.
Until then, pharmacies will carry medical marijuana treatments imported from the Netherlands and Canada so patients with prescriptions still have access to medicinal-grade cannabis.
If patients have a current prescription, they have the right to access medical marijuana from German pharmacies. This same prescription will keep them from any prosecution associated with possession of cannabis, as long as they only have their prescribed dosage.
Patients who received an exemption under the former cannabis legislation will need to turn this into BfArM. Their exemption is no longer valid to protect them from prosecution for possession. The Act Amending Narcotics and Other Regulations has modified the law, and patients should deal directly with their physicians for a cannabis prescription.
Medical marijuana laws are changing around the world. Be sure you stay aware by keeping up with MarijuanaDoctors.com — we’ll make sure you’re updated on changing legislation in Germany, the U.S. and all over the world.