It’s been an eventful week for German medical cannabis distributor Iuvo Therapeutics.
First, the Neuss-based company received its first international shipment of dry cannabis flower from Canada-based TerrAscend.
Then, Iuvo Therapeutics announced it was being acquired by London-based cannabis firm Wundr Co.
“In the upcoming weeks – and together with our new team from Wundr – Iuvo will continually scale up the import volumes to contribute to a sustainable supply of cannabis pharmaceuticals in Germany and Europe,” the company’s Managing Director Daniel Seidl told Marijuana Business Daily.
He assured that everything is in place for larger shipments to begin soon.
Earlier this year, TerrAscend became the latest Canadian cannabis licensed producer to obtain European Union-Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification, which is necessary to export flower for pharmacy dispensing in Germany.
By becoming EU-GMP certified and exporting to the European Union, TerrAscend joined the select group of Canadian cannabis producers already certified that include:
- Aurora Cannabis (certified facilities: Aurora Cannabis Enterprises and MedReleaf Corp.)
- Canopy Growth (Tweed Farms and Tweed)
- Cronos Group (Peace Naturals Project)
- Tilray (Tilray Canada)
- Wayland (Maricann)
The German market currently is totally dependent on imports from the Netherlands and Canada.
The first domestic harvests in the nation are expected at the end of 2020, but imports are expected to be possible and necessary to supply the rapidly growing market even after that date.
German authorities reported a dramatic increase of imports during the second quarter of 2019 with almost 2,500 kilograms (5,512 pounds) during the first half of the year.
The Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) of the Netherlands told MJBizDaily the country exported 1,100 kilograms of flower to Germany for pharmacy dispensing during the first half of the year.
That means exports from Canada to Germany in the same period must have been close to 1,400 kilograms to complete the 2,500 kilograms of imported cannabis that German authorities reported.
The OMC ships cannabis to Germany every month, dividing it among the licensed importers that place an order.
An agency spokesperson also said that “at this moment, we can divide about 200 kilograms per month.
“We get more and more orders each month, there are several new customers each month, so the amount for each customer gets smaller.”
That’s a sign that importers that depend exclusively on supply from the Netherlands might see revenue shrink as new importers get licensed, if supply remains the same.
However, exports from the Netherlands are expected to increase during the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, a new law to simplify cannabis access for patients went into effect this week in Germany.
Under the new law, after statutory health insurers initially approve a patient’s reimbursement, with no new application needed if there’s an adjustment to the dosage or a change in the flower variety.
Alfredo Pascual can be reached at [email protected]