July 29, 2020

Germany imports 4,126kg of medical cannabis during the first half of 2020

2min read

Yesterday, Germany’s BfArM released new data on medical cannabis imports from Q1 and Q2 2020, showing an increase of 16% in Q1 2020 and 32% in Q2 2020.

July 29th, 2020

Arnau Valdovinos


Earlier this month, Germany lost its position as the largest importer of medical cannabis in the world to Israel, however new data shows that medical cannabis imports are continuing to grow.

flower imports into germany cannabis industry

Since legalisation, German imports have increased in a turbulent growth pattern.In 2018, total German imports of medical cannabis flowers reached 3.1 tonnes, doubling in 2019 to over 6.7 tonnes. German imports of cannabis flowers in H1 2020 reached 4.1 tonnes showing a 63% increase compared to H1 2019, although no single quarter in 2020 has reached the peak of Q3 2019.

During this period, Germany requested an additional ton of medical cannabis exports from the Netherlands as the country was facing supply shortages and believed that the nation’s domestic production would not be available until early 2021, driving the drastic rise in imports.

germany cannabis

The level of imports decreased by 43% in Q4 2019 as distributors were still drawing from the over-supplied imports the quarter before. Thus as supply started to dampen, German imports saw an increase of 16% in Q1 2020 and 32% in Q2 2020.

The spike in German imports correlates with the rise in patients and the inclusion of new exporters entering the market. Currently, the estimated number of registered patients using medicinal cannabis in Germany is around 60,000.

Patient numbers are set to increase as more doctors and pharmacies are seeking cannabis products as viable treatments for patients. Imports of extract-based products, which the data does not provide, are rising in parallel with flower imports, reflecting a growth in demand across the board for medicinal cannabis products.

medical cannabis germany

This increase in demand for medicinal cannabis products has left the market with ongoing supply shortages leading government and health officials to seek alternative supply avenues. Until recently, Canada and the Netherlands were the only nations exporting medicinal cannabis products to Germany.

To eradicate its dependence on a small number of suppliers, the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) authorised flower imports from Portugal, Spain and Denmark. Currently, the German supply chain for medical cannabis flowers has become more reliable as products from at least 30 different cultivators are available on the market.

The future level of German cannabis flower imports is likely to fluctuate upwards as patient numbers increase. In the short-term due to COVID-19 measures, the domestic harvest in Germany is expected to be delayed, potentially causing instability in Germany’s supply chain.

Germany cannabis imports

In the long-run, imports of cannabis flower may be affected by consumer preferences towards cannabis oils and extracts as they become more available on the market. The emergence of domestic medical cannabis production, commencing Q4 2020, will also impact the level of imports as domestic production expects to grow 2.6 tonnes of pharmaceutical-quality cannabis flower per year over four years.

For more in-depth information, consumer data and strategic support, contact the Prohibition Partners consultancy team at info@prohibitionpartners.com or download one of our industry-leading reports.

Germany imports 4,126kg of medical cannabis during the first half of 2020

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