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Cannabis Industry Cheers Steps Toward Recreational Legalization in Germany

It's being hailed as an important first step.

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Germany’s decision today to effectively legalize recreational cannabis drew lots of support from representatives across the U.S. and European cannabis industries.

Jason Adelstone, a senior associate attorney at cannabis law firm Vicente LLP, was happy to see the scaled-back German legalization measure finally become law even though the country didn’t legalize commercial sales.

“With Germany joining Malta and Luxembourg in acknowledging that regulation, rather than prohibition, better protects the health and safety of its citizens, it could help propel other EU nations to do the same,” he said in a statement.

Colin Ferrian, a portfolio manager at Poseidon Investment Management, a cannabis hedge fund, said the improved consumer access should foster competition and lead to improved product quality and lower prices.

"Specifically, the process for obtaining a cannabis prescription is poised to become simpler, as medical cannabis in Germany will no longer require a narcotic prescription form; standard prescriptions will suffice, simplifying the process for doctors and the supply chain alike, and access to cannabis without a medical card will also be facilitated through social clubs, broadening consumer options," he said. "Cultivation equipment companies should also benefit, as both equipment (e.g. racks, lighting, irrigation) and consumables (e.g. fertilizers) should see increased demand as cultivation capacity from social clubs expands. The impact on existing medical operators should be incrementally positive due to patient growth under the new prescription rules, but it's not clear if the competition from social clubs will offset this."

Michael Sassano, founder and CEO of SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals, an EU-GMP European pharmaceutical and biotech company distributing cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals, applauded Germany for taking cannabis off the narcotics list.

“Medical cannabis around the globe is hailing this as a first big step for all regulators in the EU and global communities to provide a safer alternative to what big pharma is currently providing,” he said.

Tilray Medical's Chief Strategy Officer and Head of International Denise Faltischek called the decision an important step that will allow patients and physicians to explore effective treatment options tailored to individual needs. The company operates one of only three cannabis cultivation facilities in Germany and hopes to scale production capacity through new partnerships enabled by the new laws.

Cannabis retailer High Tide welcomed what it called "pillar 1" Germany’s legalization plan and looked forward to the country’s work on "pillar 2" of its legalization plan, which the company said will focus on regional adult use pilot projects supported by commercial supply chains and for-profit cannabis specialty stores.

"The passage of this bill is a historic moment as it makes Germany the second G7 country to legalize the consumption and private cultivation of cannabis for recreational purposes by adults, and sets the stage for the government to move forward with the second pillar of its plan which aims to set up regional adult use pilot projects focused on cannabis specialty shops,” said High Tide CEO Raj Grover. “Our intention is to capitalize on this opportunity, given our deep experience and success through our unique and differentiated retail model, that we will seek to replicate in Germany as soon as legislation allows.”

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