Demand for medical marijuana in Germany is surging, opening new opportunities for overseas companies.
Canadian MMJ companies, in particular, have been quick to position themselves to meet a supply shortfall in Germany.
By the end of 2017, a total of 13,000 patients had applied for medical marijuana reimbursements from three large health insurance companies, Rheinische Post reported.
By comparison, only about 1,000 people had permission to use the drug as of last March.
The three insurance firms – Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse, Barmer and Techniker Krankenkasse – told the newspaper they approved MMJ applications for about two-thirds of the applicants.
Failing to receive insurance coverage leaves patients on the hook for the cost of the prescribed medicine.
The newspaper estimated those costs ranged from 140 to 1,800 euros ($160 to $2,100) per month.
Germany became the largest federally legal medical marijuana market in the world in 2017, but the market will be served by imports until its domestic production is capable of meeting local demand.
Every German citizen is mandated to have health coverage through a private company, and some insurance firms offer MMJ in their plans — making medical cannabis accessible to the country’s 70 million insured people.
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