Australia sends first commercial cannabis oil export to Germany

Curious about the developing European cannabis markets? Then tune in to the Europe Market Forum on Monday, Nov. 23, at MJBizCon’s Passholder Days. Topics include the Germany and Israel markets as well as roundtable sessions covering adult-use pilot programs and hemp. More information is available here.

Cannabis producer Little Green Pharma became the first Australian company to send its medical marijuana oil to Germany for sale to consumers, the Western Australia-based firm announced.

Australia joins Canada and other nations supplying the German market with cannabis oil products.

Roughly 789 liters (208 gallons) of cannabis oil was shipped from Canada to Germany last year, according to Canadian government data.

Little Green Pharma said the shipment consisted of 2,400 units of cannabis oil worth more than 600,000 Australian dollars ($436,000).

The oil was shipped to German medical distributor CC Pharma, a subsidiary of Canada’s Aphria.

Little Green Pharma said it expects the product to clear customs in the coming week, followed by batch testing, before being released for sale into the German market.

Shipping medical marijuana to the European Union is no easy task.

Little Green Pharma said it took 22 months to complete:

  • Negotiations.
  • Quality inspections and audits.
  • Procurement of German and Australian narcotic licenses and permits.

The process “reflects the high regulatory barriers to the export of medicinal cannabis products to the EU,” according to the company’s news release.

Separately, Little Green Pharma signed a three-year purchase agreement earlier this year with Berlin-based Demecan – a medical marijuana distributor.

That deal involves the sale and export of up to 1,000 kilograms (2,204 pounds) of dried flower, or 48,000 units of medicinal cannabis oil product per year.

Cannabis businesses have expended a considerable amount of time and money establishing a toehold in the promising German market.

But so far the rewards have been few and far between, with most international companies recording marginal revenue in the growing, but crowded, market.

The German market remains a distant second to Canada’s by expenditures – though that is expected to change in the coming years.

MJBizDaily‘s European report, published earlier this year, estimated annual sales in 2019 in Germany of at least 170 million euros ($200 million) at retail value. That compares to Canadian expenditures in 2019 of about 618 million Canadian dollars ($472 million).