Upheaval in the german cannabis lobby: new industry association to promote liberalisation
Anyone interested in the consumption and sale of medical cannabis in Germany can hardly avoid the German Hemp Association (DHV). The organization represents the entire cannabis lobby, from the legalization movement to the small head store to the pharmaceutical company. An alliance of interests made up of activists and suits that certainly harbors conflicts – but this is now to come to an end.
According to information from Business Insider, the Hemp Association is ceding its lobbying work for the business community to the newly founded Cannabis Industry Association (BvCW) as of January 2020.
“The establishment of the Federal Cannabis Economy Association is a long overdue step that will raise the profile of both interest groups. The new association will represent the industry, while the Hemp Association sees itself primarily as a civil rights movement,” Georg Wurth, head of the German Hemp Association (DHV), tells Business Insider.
Activists vs. entrepreneurs: cannabis lobby splits up
In light of the industry’s extreme growth, he says, a limit has been reached in reconciling the interests of consumers and businesses.
BvCW President Stefan Meyer told Business Insider that they want to become “the strong voice” for all cannabis companies in Germany. This includes, in particular, companies in the medical cannabis, commercial hemp, and cannabidiol (CBD) sectors.
“Many regulatory issues need to be discussed and made reasonable. In international comparison, Germany needs to catch up in the area of research, legislation and in regulations that are in line with the market,” said Meyer, who is the head of CBD company Neo-Livia.
The goal is the “liberalization of the market for legal cannabis products”.
The founding membership meeting of the new trade association already took place on Dec. 17, with a total of 14 companies on board. According to the draft statute, which is available to Business Insider, the association aims to “promote the liberalization of the market for legal cannabis products and quality standards.” It also said it wants to work to create fair competition, promote research, and network within the industry.
As Business Insider has learned from industry circles, the founding of the new association apparently has another reason: with the new appearance, some probably want to leave behind the stoner image attached to the hemp association in conservative circles and distinguish themselves as professional entrepreneurs.
Young industry is on the rise
The industry has developed strongly since the legalization of medical cannabis in March 2017 and has experienced a real boom. According to the GKV-Spitzenverband, which represents the interests of statutory health insurers, the industry turned over around €73.7 million with cannabis flowers and cannabinoid-containing medicines in 2018. In 2019, as of September, it was already 86.4 million euros. This does not yet include prescriptions from privately insured patients.
The “green gold” business is also attracting many startups and companies from abroad (especially Canada) hoping to get a piece of the pie.
Analysts predict that, given favorable conditions, the German cannabis market could be worth around €8 billion by 2028.
So far, however, distribution in Germany has been a difficult proposition. Medical cannabis is a strictly regulated niche market, the hurdles for a prescription are high, and importing and cultivation are difficult. There is also currently a legal gray area for the non-psychoactive ingredient cannabidiol (CBD), which is processed in food and oils.
So the newly formed Bundesverband Cannabiswirtschaft still has many construction sites ahead of it.
Based on the materials www.businessinsider.de