European Medical Marijuana News
European Medical Marijuana News

European Medical Marijuana News

Germany Delays MMJ, Ireland Runs Out, and Weed Potency Doubles

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Wednesday Jan 2, 2019

European Cannabis News

Germany Postpones Launch Of MMJ

Another delay faces Germany’s medical marijuana patients, as opposing lawmakers have criticized the government for “deliberate obstruction” of local cannabis laws, reports Funke Mediengruppe.


Although medical cannabis has been legal since March 2017, the Federal Ministry of Health has continued delays in the implementation of the laws. As of now, it seems that the first legal cannabis licenses won’t be given out until the 2nd quarter of this year. While all this is happening, the cost of prescription cannabis medications continues to soar as the absence of a regulating framework makes it challenging to monitor large-scale production in Germany.


Wieland Schinnenburg, FDP lawmaker, condemned the government for complicating the efforts to introduce medical marijuana. Schinnenburg adds that it not only harms the patients who need their medicine, but “we cannot be sure that the current export countries can provide for the increasing global demand.”


Germany’s opposition wants to fully legalize marijuana, and they argue that as long as it remains available in the black market, it will prevent patients from getting the medicine that they need while putting recreational consumers at risk of using cannabis that may have been tainted with hard drugs or chemicals.


Report Says European Cannabis Has Doubled In Potency

In the first study of its kind, researchers from King’s College London and University of Bath examine cannabis potency in Europe from the last decade. They are the first to analyze the changes in potency in the continent, and their findings have worried many.


The study, published in Addiction, found that herbal cannabis as well as cannabis resin have soared in both strength and cost. Specifically, they found that THC levels in herbal cannabis have jumped from 5% in 2006, to 10% in 2016. Meanwhile, THC levels in resin were somewhat stable from 2006 to 2011, but it saw a sharp spike from 10% to 17% from then to 2016. In the United Kingdom, THC concentrations in fresh herbal cannabis were around the same from 2006 to 2016, but according to data from police seizures, THC levels in resin spiked sharply.


“These findings show that cannabis resin has changed rapidly across Europe, resulting in a more potent and better value product,” says Dr. Tom Freeman of the Addiction and Mental Health Group of the Department of Psychology in the University of Bath. Dr. Freeman, lead author of the study, cites some concerns that came with their findings. “CBD has the potential to make cannabis safer, without limiting the positive effects users seek,” he explains. “What we are seeing in Europe is an increase in THC and either stable or decreasing levels of CBD, potentially making cannabis more harmful.”


Supply Issues Causing Delay In Ireland’s MMJ Program

The Irish Farmers’ Association announced that they are now willing to meet Health Minister Simon Harris to discuss the potential opportunities that come with growing cannabis for medicinal purposes. Although almost two years have already passed since the health minister said that they would be establishing an MMJ programme, no further actions have been taken since then, leaving many people frustrated. The programme would allow patients of multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and severe and treatment-resistant epilepsy to obtain access to cannabis-based medications.


However, much of the delays are caused by the government’s difficulties finding a quality cannabis supplier who can bring the products into the country. According to Harris, “lack of availability” of the plant within Ireland has remained the biggest obstacle to fully implementing the program. Harris disclosed to an interview on the RTE Ear to the Ground show that he would be open to the possibility of Irish farmers growing cannabis instead. “This is not about recreational use and people smoking joints. This is about using in a controlled way, in a monitored way, with the support of your clinician, a product that could ease your pain and suffering after you’ve tried all the conventional treatments.”


“This is a major priority for me and I really want to see this happen in 2019,” he added.


In their efforts to locate a supplier for cannabis and study how other countries are rolling out their programs, department officials have even made trips to other countries within the European Union including Denmark.


“There is quite a lead-in time and there are patients who need this product as soon as possible. What we’re likely to do in the first course of action is to try and secure a product. Then in the medium terms talking about growing our own and securing our own supply in Ireland is the sensible thing to do,” he explains.


Doing so would also benefit Irish farmers, as cannabis can be a lucrative alternative for revenue particularly those that are experiencing financial difficulties.


European Medical Cannabis News and Updates from CannabisNet on Vimeo.








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