Germany to begin cultivating medical marijuana in 2019

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Medical marijuana cultivation is expected to commence in Germany in 2019 now that the country has finalized an MMJ program and is seeking private companies to oversee growing operations.

The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices in Germany is establishing an agency to sift through private business bids to grow MMJ for patients, the Associated Press reported.

Until the new MMJ system is operational, Germany will continue to rely on imported cannabis from the Netherlands and Canada. Only pharmacies will be allowed to sell medical marijuana, and patients must obtain a prescription.

A German law approved in January mandates that medical marijuana can be made available only to patients who experience “exceptional cases” that include chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and decreased appetite or nausea resulting from cancer treatments.

Patients are not permitted by law to grow medical cannabis, so they must have access to “pharmaceutical-grade” marijuana, The Express Tribune reported.

The country currently has about 1,000 MMJ patients, but the new law could raise that number into the tens of thousands.

The German government has emphasized it does not intend to legalize recreational marijuana, as Canada has indicated it plans to do as early as this summer.