Status: 09.12.2022 12:12 p.m
Cannabis could be legalized in 2024. Medium-sized entrepreneurs are preparing to do business with the plant. For farmers, cultivation could even become an alternative to animal husbandry.
The farmer rich through the grass, the pharmacist known as a dealer and politics d’accord with potheads? Is this the future of legal cannabis? The release of the hemp plant for leisure use in Germany could give rise to a new branch of the economy.
The industry association Cannabiswirtschaft (BvCW) assumes that the business with cannabis blossoms will boom. The association, based in Berlin, has represented around 90 companies in politics and administration since it was founded in 2019. According to BvCW spokesman Jürgen Neumayer, the legalization of cannabis could also result in new sectors in the areas of technology, services and packaging in addition to the regulations for sale and cultivation.
Nevertheless, there are many aspects to consider when it comes to legalization, Neumayer continued. Above all, it is important to educate preventively. Cannabis remains a drug like alcohol. A legalization of the substance is intended as a “regain of control”. In the medium term, the black market should be squeezed out and a traceable quality control system should be set up.
Germany as a role model for Europe
According to the BvCW, Germany could be a European pioneer with regard to the planned legalization of cannabis. According to Neumayer, many countries are currently looking to Germany and its decision on the issue. “Many companies are in the starting blocks,” the BvCW spokesman continued. Great demand would come above all from the farmers’ association. For many farmers, growing cannabis plants is a viable alternative to raising livestock.
Nevertheless, one should not forget: “Just because the plant is legalized, the substance is no less harmful,” warns pharmacist and CEO of the Association of Cannabis Supplying Pharmacies (VCA) Johannes Ertel from Bisingen (Zollernalbkreis).
The pharmacist is in principle in favor of legalizing cannabis – but only in a controlled manner and at certified sales outlets. A system is needed that can be reached easily and that can demonstrate a high level of competence. In addition, the image should not arise that pharmacists are the new “dealers”. The pharmacist said so SWRthat a legalization of cannabis is only justified if the protection of minors and prevention are taken into account.
Specialist congress “Cannabis is our Business”
A specialist congress on the subject of cannabis started for the first time in Freiburg on Tuesday. Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH & Co. KG (FWTM) organized the two-day “Canna B” trade fair under the motto “Cannabis is our Business”. It offers experts and companies from agriculture, pharmacy, trade and business a platform to exchange ideas. In addition to legal questions, “best practice” examples from South and North America and Switzerland are also highlighted.
Represent the diversity of hemp
Entrepreneur Andreas Leitz hopes that the planned legalization will bring economic benefits in particular: “If we legalize cannabis, we will also create an economic boost for our medium-sized businesses”. At the beginning of December, the trained engineer opened the “Planty of Reasons” retail store in downtown Stuttgart. All legally available products such as hemp seeds, CBD oils or hemp creams are offered there. In the event of legalization, Leitz also wants to sell products containing THC. In addition, the entrepreneur wants to counteract all prejudices against cannabis.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, in his recent interview with the daily topics defended plans to legalize cannabis. It is the “silver bullet” to dry out the black market. Nevertheless, there will be residual risks, such as passing on legally purchased cannabis to younger people.
Lauterbach assumes that the first draft law on cannabis legalization will be available by the end of next year. These legalization plans then go to the European Commission. The Bundestag has the last word.