by Stefanie on 24/08/2015 | Legal & Politics

Cologne judgement on the private cultivation of Cannabis – patients have not yet planted a single plant

Private cultivation July 22nd 2015 marked the anniversary of the great Cologne cannabis judgement, but not a single cannabis plant has yet been grown. That's a reason to look into matters.

July 22nd 2015 marked the anniversary of the great Cologne cannabis judgement, but not a single cannabis plant has yet been grown. That’s a reason to look into matters.

The normalisation and legalisation of cannabis has certainly seen a lot of changes worldwide over the past 12 months, but what is happening in Germany? In Germany, grow shop offensives, driving bans as an alternative penalty for cannabis users and zero tolerance directives are hitting the headlines. It is anything but easy, even for cannabis patients in Germany. Medicinal hemp from pharmacies is expensive, and supply problems are a constant source of complaint.

The situation for the three patients who were permitted by the administrative court of Cologne to grow cannabis for therapeutic purposes has not changed since 2014. The judgement may well have given out a signal, but sadly nothing has changed beyond the judiciary decree. None of the patients has grown even one cannabis plant.

The status one year later

Cultivation of cannabis
cannabis patient Günter Weiglein

Günter Weiglein is one of the three patients permitted by the court to grow cannabis to alleviate his pain. Unfortunately the authority granting permission, the BfArM, is not allowed to issue the necessary approval on the instruction of the Federal Ministry of Health.

The reasons given: There are alternative therapies available. The medication and therapeutic safety are not guaranteed because the patient’s doctor does not prescribe them, he simply supports them. Furthermore, it is impossible to give a dosing recommendation. If is clearly more difficult to exclude potential abuse in the case of personal cultivation. Effective control would not be possible.

At the beginning of February 2015, the Federal Health Minister announced that from 2016, the costs of medicinal hemp from pharmacies would be covered by health insurance companies. It was not stated that cannabis imported from the Netherlands is rarely available in pharmacies. This situation is likely to worsen rather than improve in the future, because of increasing patient numbers. These circumstances mean that patients such as Günter Weiglein have no other option but to grow their own cannabis.

Since last summer’s judgement, cannabis has been the subject of constant discussion in both the media and in politics. But nothing has happened as yet!

Brief look back on the Cologne 2014 cannabis judgement

Five German cannabis patients came before the court last year to assert their right to grow their own cannabis. On 22 July 2014, the judgement was given: The private cultivation of cannabis for therapeutic purposes may be approved in individual cases.

For three of the five patients, the long-ongoing battle against this judgement took a positive turn. The ruling was in their favour. The Cologne administrative court had forced the BfArM (Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices) to reconsider its decision on the personal supply of medicinal cannabis.

Sensi Seeds is still following the case.

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