The ins and outs of medical cannabis distribution in Germany

Germany medical cannabis distribution, The ins and outs of medical cannabis distribution in Germany

Cansativa co-founder Benedikt Sons demonstrates part of the company's documentation process.

An ability to draw a distinction between an importer and wholesaler of medical cannabis is essential to the understanding of the German distribution market, says Jakob Sons, co-founder of Frankfurt-based Cansativa.

Not all distributors of medical cannabis in Germany have the same types of licenses, he noted in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

“If we are talking about intra-European Union trade, the correct term is ‘wholesale.’ A company that holds a wholesale distribution authorization and a Good distribution practice (GDP) certificate is not allowed to ‘import’ products originating from outside the European Union,” Sons explained.

In other words: According to German law, “import” refers to importing products from outside the European Union.

Cansativa said June 26 it received “a 7-digit loan financing at an annual interest rate of 1.2% with a term of six years.”

The company will use the money to “further increase inventory, working capital and to invest in tangible fixed assets.”

Cansativa offers German pharmacies different brands of medical cannabis.

In addition to having flower sourced from the Netherlands, the Cansativa portfolio includes products that it buys from the German subsidiaries of Canadian producers Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth and Tilray.

Sons explained the company’s strategy of having a “multibrand medical cannabis portfolio,” arguing that being a “one-stop shop” differentiates the firm from competitors.

“Instead of reaching out to many different suppliers, pharmacists can purchase medical cannabis at the centralized Cansativa platform,” he said.

“Besides our broad portfolio, we differentiate from competitors with our top-notch medical cannabis-specialized sales team and several industry-leading service levels like delivery times.”

Cansativa operates its own narcotics vault, unlike other distributors that use third-party service providers to store and distribute the medicines.

Earlier this month, MJBizDaily visited Cansativa’s facility near Frankfurt, Germany, for a behind-the-scenes tour of how the company runs.

In the following video interview, Cansativa co-founders Jakob and Benedikt Sons explain the differences among the main licenses and permits relevant for importers and distributors of medical cannabis in Germany.

The brothers discuss the:

  • Medicinal Products Act (“Arzneimittelgesetz,” AMG).
  • Narcotic Drugs Act (“Betäubungsmittelgesetz,” BtMG).
  • Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Good Distribution Practice (GDP).
  • Permits needed to distribute irradiated medicines, known in Germany as “AMRadV.”

The video interview includes exclusive access and original footage of the vault, showing how the Cansativa co-founders process an actual pharmacy order.