German government officials are questioning the veracity of some key facts in a recent news release by cannabis producer Tilray Brands, telling MJBizDaily their meeting with Tilray representatives was “a one-time conversation” and “not part of the preparatory phase” of marijuana legalization.
Tilray, headquartered in New York, said in a news release dated Sept. 6 it held a “policy roundtable” with German officials on adult-use cannabis legalization, including:
- Burkhard Blienert, commissioner on narcotic drugs at the Federal Ministry of Health.
- Kristine Lütke, member of the Bundestag and drug policy spokesperson.
- Carlos Kasper, Bundestag member and part of the Finance Committee.
- Martina Stamm-Fibich, Bundestag member and part of the Health Committee.
“With this event, Tilray reaffirms its leading role as a trusted partner to government regulators and contributes to German legalization efforts by sharing its long-standing expertise and experience in cannabis research, product quality and safety, supply management, patient and consumer protection, and cannabis education,” the company’s release noted.
However, Lütke’s chief of staff said the Bundestag member did not participate.
MJBizDaily had asked the German officials to confirm the date of the “policy roundtable,” as mentioned in the Tilray news release.
“We (would) like to inform you that there is no roundtable with Tilray and the federal government commissioner for addiction and drug issues,” Blienert’s spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the meeting was “a one-time conversation with several political representatives” on Sept. 6.
The news release also said Blienert “presented the plan for adult-use cannabis legalization.”
However, rather than presenting the “plan” for legalization, the German government spokesperson said they “only outlined the schedule that has already been published several times. Tilray has deleted the press release yesterday.”
Tilray did not immediately reply to queries from MJBizDaily, and the news release does not appear to have been corrected or retracted.
Asked if the officials were downplaying the meeting, Blienert’s spokesperson said: “The content of the press release is just not correct. We are not downplaying the meeting, because there is no cooperation and there will be none either with Tilray. On no level to be clear.”
The title of Tilray’s news release saying the company held the meeting “to Kick-Off Draft Legislation” also seems to have caught the eye of German officials.
Blienert’s spokesperson said the meeting “was not part of the ‘preparatory phase’” of legalization.
“The focus of the federal government in the plans for the controlled dispensing of cannabis to adults lies on expected positive health effects of the population,” the spokesperson said.
Germany launched the preparatory phase of cannabis legislation earlier this summer.
Public hearings were already held to cover topics such as health and consumer protection, criminal liability, control measures and licensing.
More than 200 leading experts shared their expertise on addiction medicine, addiction help, law, business and industry associations as well as representatives of Germany’s states, municipalities, federal ministries and other federal authorities.
A draft bill is expected later this year.
The focus of the legalization is expected to be safety and the protection of youth from negative health effects, according to Germany’s health minister.
Matt Lamers can be reached at email@example.com.