Aphria joins crowded German cannabis flower market; sales to start in ‘weeks’

Canadian cannabis producer Aphria is joining the increasingly competitive German medical marijuana flower market.

The company said this week it completed its first shipment of dried flower to its wholly owned German subsidiary, CC Pharma GmbH.

Hendrik Knopp, managing director of Aphria Germany, told Marijuana Business Daily the company expects to have products available for pharmacies to order “within a couple of weeks.”

The medical cannabis destined for the German market is produced in the company’s Aphria One facility in Leamington, Ontario, which is certified for European Union-Good Manufacturing Practices (EU-GMP).

Aphria joins a select group of Canadian cultivators whose products have been sold in German pharmacies – under their own or other brands, including: Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth, Cronos Group, Maricann, Northern Green Canada and Tilray.

Germany was the top destination for Canadian-produced medical cannabis flower in 2019, with roughly 3,528 kilograms (7,800 pounds) shipped to the EU market that year. Another 789 liters (208 gallons) of cannabis oil products left Canada for Germany in 2019, according to data provided by Canadian regulators.

Canada is not the only supplier for the import-dependent German market. Others include:

  • The Netherlands, which remains a leading flower supplier of the German market.
  • Uruguay, whose flower was shipped to Germany via Portugal recently under the Tilray brand.
  • Tilray flower was cultivated in Portugal.
  • Spanish licensed producer Linneo, which recently became a supplier of flower for the German, Israeli and United Kingdom markets. In all cases, the products are sold under other brands.

Aphria is one of the only three in-country growers of medical cannabis in Germany.

MJBizDaily exclusively reported that the first harvest will not occur in the last quarter of this year as previously expected but, rather, in 2021.

Despite the excitement being generated by many companies, the German market for medical cannabis remains small compared to sales in North America.

German’s estimated annual retail value of sales was at least 170 million euros ($200 million) in 2019, according to MJBizDaily‘s latest European report.

Data recently gathered by MJBizDaily shows that applications for medical cannabis reimbursements with German statutory health insurers (GKV), which started in March 2017, reached the 100,000 milestone this year – and 62% were approved.

Alfredo Pascual can be reached at alfredop@mjbizdaily.com

International Editor Matt Lamers contributed to this report.