The Tilray/Aphria owned facility becomes the first GMP certified crop to make its way to German pharmacies since the beginning of the tender bid process.
In a victory that has taken literally four years to accomplish, the first German-grown cannabis, produced by the Tilray/Aphria consortium in Neumunster, near Hamburg, has begun to be distributed to German pharmacies.
That said, the process has been torturous, extended and drawn out. On top of this, the terms of the bid were never going to allow any of the producers to come close to producing enough in-country (at least for four years) of demand, which has also steadily grown here since 2017.
The Importance of imports to the German market
While the beginning of domestically cultivated cannabis is an important step, the reality is that imported cannabis will play an important role in the market for years to come. This in turn has already led to feeder markets in countries like Portugal and Greece and attracted cannabis from as far away as Africa and Australia.
Indeed, in terms of trigger events, it is the German bid itself, with the setting of both certification grade and the mandate for health insurance to cover the same, that has created the beginnings of what is going to be the world’s most valuable medical cannabis market and further one that will, as of next year, begin to also see recreational experiments all over the continent.
Indeed, it seems odd and strangely timed (although of course nobody could have predicted Covid and the slowdowns in all that have occurred) that the Tilray/Aphria coalition, which itself is a strange Frankenweed merged company on both sides of the discussion in both Germany and Portugal, plus one of the largest distribution networks in Germany via the acquisition of one of the larger regular distributors (CC Pharma), would begin distribution right before the Swiss and Luxembourg recreational trials are set to begin.
Whatever the coincidence, the reality is that even in Germany, cannabis, even if of “just” the medical kind, is becoming a normalized reality across Europe – and it is the Deutsch market that has led the way.
In the next few years, the many problems caused by normalization will continue to fragment the industry – until the industry comes together and changes the laws on cannabis at a European level. Until then, it is one step and victory at a time, and this announcement is no small feat.
Be sure to book your tickets now to the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin!