Medical Cannabis in Europe: Recent Developments, New EU Policies, and Brexit – What’s Next?

Over two years have passed since the German parliament voted to legalize medical cannabis. This was a landmark result in Europe, considering that cannabis was still listed as a strong narcotic in many countries at the time. Since then, many other European states have followed in Germany’s footsteps, and now even the European Commission is getting involved. 

The legalization of medical cannabis has a profound benefit for patients with severe diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or epilepsy. However, it also comes with complex decisions regarding the import, export, and cultivation of cannabis plants, which have to be made and monitored by the appointed regulatory body.

In Germany, for instance, the tender process for the cultivation licenses experienced several hiccups and although import licenses were granted to span the duration of the tender process, the country encountered severe supply bottlenecks. The tender process then experienced a make-over and now, after two years, the licensees have been named.

So all in all, a lot has been happening in regards to the legalization of medical cannabis across Europe. We have spoken to Peter Homberg, Partner and Head of the German Life Sciences Practice and the European Cannabis Group at Dentons, one of the top 10 global law firms, present in over 60 countries worldwide.