Demand for medical marijuana is surging in Germany

Demand for medical marijuana in Germany is surging, substantiating the thesis of Canadian companies positioning themselves to meet a supply shortfall there.

A total of 13,000 patients had applied for medical marijuana reimbursements from three large health insurance companies by the end of 2017, Rheinische Post reported.

Only about 1,000 people had permission to use the drug in March.

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The three insurance firms – Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse, Barmer and Techniker Krankenkasse – told the newspaper they approved MMJ applications for about two-thirds of the applicants.

Failing to receive insurance coverage leaves patients on the hook for the cost of the prescribed medicine.

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The newspaper estimated those costs ranged from 140 to 1,800 euros ($160 to $2,100) per month.

Germany became the largest federally legal medical marijuana market in the world in 2017, but the market will be served by imports until its domestic production is capable of meeting local demand.

Every German citizen is mandated to have health coverage through a private company, and some insurance firms offer MMJ in their plans — making medical cannabis accessible to the country’s 70 million insured people.

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Canadian companies with their eyes set on the Germany medical marijuana market include Aurora, Tilray, Cronos Group, Canopy Growth, Maricann, ABcann, CanniMed, Nuuvera and MedReleaf.

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