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Germany is the EU chief in hashish oil imports … and exports

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In 2019, Germany led the EU in both imports and exports of cannabis oil and not in small numbers. The Germans prove to be large cannabis users and also large cannabis producers.

When it comes to the cannabis market, the EU is a large and growing consumer market that doesn't produce as much as it uses. There are also some parts that have not legalized cannabis under any circumstances, neither medicinally nor otherwise, and leave the door open for future expansion as the laws will loosen across Europe in the coming years.

While some European countries like Slovakia, Sweden and Denmark are still fairly strict with their cannabis laws, other countries like Spain, Italy and Portugal are currently not. As of 2019, Germany was the largest importer of cannabis oils in the EU member states and the largest exporter of cannabis oils to other countries.

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Cannabis oil imports 2019

To be honest, no other country is anywhere near comparable to the United States in terms of cannabis oil imports. According to worldstopexports for 2019, the U.S. imported cannabis oil worth $ 893 million, followed by Germany with $ 240 million. Third place went to South Korea, which only launched its medical program in 2018, but is slowing with imports of cannabis oil worth $ 207 million for 2019. The next European country on the list is France, which came in fifth place with cannabis oil imports worth $ 152 million this year, nearly $ 100 million behind Germany.

According to the same report, total international cannabis oil spending in 2019 was $ 3.1 billion, an increase of 38.6% since 2015. Although the United States took the top spot for a single importing country, the whole of Europe The Union amounts to USD 1.1 billion, which corresponds to 35.9% of the total and thus exceeds the United States' market share of 28.7%. Germany made up 7.8% of the cannabis oil import market last year.

Cannabis oil exports 2019

The situation is different for cannabis oil exports for 2019. Germany leads the EU and ranks fourth with exports worth around $ 230 million, or 8% of cannabis oil exported, for the year. In this category, China tops the list by an even greater margin and exports nearly $ 1 billion in cannabis oil, which is 33.4% of last year's exported oil. India ranked second, exporting around $ 320 million over the course of the year, followed by the United States, which exported $ 309.7 million for 10.7% of total cannabis oil exports. Germany beat Spain, the next EU country on the list, by $ 40 million in sales.

The global total of cannabis oil exports was $ 2.9 billion in 2019, an increase of 23.3% since 2015. It should be remembered that these analyzes – both imports and exports – only refer to cannabis oil that contains no other cannabis oil products, and they only consider the legal market.

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Who really exports the most?

The legal markets show part of the story, but much of the cannabis history takes place underboard. In fact, the size and scope of this black market gives hope to its legal counterpart. As the legalization of recreational activities becomes increasingly important, conquering this illegal black market will make up a large part of the entire legal cannabis market. However, most imports and exports are currently only for medical cannabis.

Morocco is the leading supplier for Europe and the leading exporter in the world, even when it comes to China. Morocco's illegal cannabis export market is valued at around $ 8.8 billion. An illegal market should never be compared to a legal market because it essentially compares apples and oranges. However, it shows how much this industry is worth and how much can be earned if this source of income is redirected to a legal one.

Cannabis in Germany for residents

As the EU's leading cannabis importer and exporter, this implied that Germany allowed cannabis production and that it allowed some form of cannabis use. Let’s take a closer look:

Possession of cannabis is illegal under the federal narcotics law and is imprisoned for up to five years. On the other hand, cannabis use is not classified as a criminal offense, so people who are caught consuming are generally subject to some form of programming during prison time when caught in small amounts. Germany takes a slightly different approach than other countries in determining a “small amount” and actually assesses the size of the amount based on the amount of the intoxicant THC, not just on the amount of the drugs. A “small amount” also has a different definition in different parts of Germany and can be between 6 and 15 grams.

The cultivation and supply of cannabis is illegal for private individuals. Supply crimes can earn a perpetrator between 1 and 15 years old, depending on the seriousness of the crime and mitigating circumstances such as the presence or supply of minors, the amount of cannabis if weapons are available, and other factors.

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Cannabis in Germany for companies

When Germany recognized the economic value of cannabis cultivation in 2019, it legalized the production and export of cannabis and cannabis products for medical purposes. At the beginning of 2019, 79 bidders submitted their offers for growing medical marijuana. The structure for cannabis cultivation in Germany includes the following:

The Federal Ministry of Health reports to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfarM), the regulatory authority for approval and the procedure for growing cannabis in Germany. Cannabis is grown on behalf of the cannabis agency that operates as part of BfarM. Cannabis must be grown according to the guidelines of "Good Practice for the Collection and Cultivation of Medicinal Plants" and other relevant guidelines. Private companies will carry out the cultivation after receiving a contract and a license. The cannabis agency buys cannabis from said private companies in accordance with the 1961 United Nations Narcotics Agreement and set a manufacturer's retail price.

In order for a company to export to Germany, it must:

Cannabis can be imported from countries that grow medical cannabis under state control, where there is guaranteed pharmaceutical quality, and the product meets the legal requirements of the United Nations Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. According to the EU regulation, products that are imported into Germany can , companies that want to import cannabis into Germany can contact BfarM to ensure that the country from which the company originates complies with the UN Convention. The exporting company must comply with all EU GMP requirements (Good Manufacturing Practices). Exporters must receive the correct export license for their location. Exporters have to comply with the German regulations on the irradiation of cannabis-containing products such as medicines. Companies must have the correct license to treat products with radioactive or ionizing radiation. Germany's medical cannabis market attracts three Canadian offerings

That's a lot of medical cannabis

After a medical program since 2017 and the start of legal growth, Germany managed to top the EU market for cannabis oil sales. Given that there is no import or export for recreational use, this is a pretty powerful medical program. In fact, according to the BfarM, Germany imported around 6,700 kg of cannabis flowers in 2019, most of which went directly to pharmacies. Around three tons were imported in 2018, a year later more than double this amount.

Conclusion

Germany is the largest EU market for medical cannabis and is growing rapidly. With the initiation of private companies that provide the supply chain within the country, it will be interesting to see where Germany will fall in terms of its cannabis imports and exports in the coming years.

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Beth Edmonds