Author name: Kducey

Cannabis industry is heading in the right direction

U.S. plant-touching cannabis businesses – such as cultivators, manufacturers and retailers – say the industry is heading in a better direction, even without the impending rescheduling of marijuana.

According to survey data from the recently released 2024 MJBiz Factbook, more than 48% of revenue-generating cannabis businesses expect the industry will perform “somewhat better” or “much better” over the next 12 months.

That number increases to 82% by adding survey respondents whose cannabis industry outlook is “about the same” for the coming year.

Only 19% of cannabis business operators expect things to get worse in the next 12 months.

2024 cannabis operators survey

The MJBizDaily cannabis business survey took place Feb. 13-March 15, before U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland formally proposed moving marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3 of the Controlled Substances Act.

Of more than 600 qualified survey responses, 90% were from owners, founders or executives in plant-touching or ancillary cannabis businesses.

Almost 72% of the respondents operate in cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, processing or retail.

Respondents planning to launch new companies had even rosier opinions.

Prelaunch marijuana business operators – those with a detailed plan who are working toward a launch date – were the most optimistic, with 82% saying the industry would be better in the next 12 months.

What is your overall outlook for the cannabis industry over the next 12 months?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Cannabis-industry-is-heading-in-the-right-direction-chart.jpg

The outcome was similar for those early in the business-planning process, with 72% saying the industry would be better off through 2024.

Not surprisingly, operators of closed businesses – those no longer generating revenue – had the worst industry outlook, with only 35% saying things seemed to be going in a better direction.

Bob Groesbeck, co-CEO of Nevada-based multistate operator Planet 13 Holdings, understands how the industry changes people.

“You go in bright-eyed, bushy-tailed with high expectations not fully understanding how complex this business is,” Groesbeck told MJBizDaily.

“Once you open your doors, you realize there are many challenges, including layers of regulatory changes by different jurisdictions that need to be constantly navigated.

“This is not an industry for the timid.”

Cannabis ups and downs

Lo Friesen, founder and CEO of Heylo, a cannabis product manufacturer in Washington state, is celebrating seven years in business and has experienced the ups and downs in the industry.

“The first two years are a honeymoon phase of business, especially in cannabis. You can ride the ‘shiny-new-thing’ wave in those years, and things can feel easy,” Friesen said.

“The years that follow are where the real work begins.”

But are cannabis businesses more optimistic compared to other industries?

Chad Ricketts, director of retail for Colorado-based Native Roots Cannabis, believes so.

“Given how young it is and how quickly trends in cannabis change, there’s always a strong sense of potential and opportunity,” Ricketts said.

“I think most businesses that enter the space do not know what to expect out of the gate but do expect that, in the long run, things will end up going well as we head toward federal legalization.”

Challenges ahead

Until the industry sees tangible progress, Groesbeck is guardedly optimistic.

“Rescheduling is a good start, but that doesn’t solve the key issues we are facing right now, with the burdens of banking limitations and 280E taxation, Planet 13’s Groesbeck said.

“We need to see meaningful steps forward with SAFE Banking solutions and fair taxation laws to allow cannabis businesses to operate on a level playing field.”

Length of time in the industry can change operators’ business outlook, but so can their positions in the marijuana supply chain.

The various sectors, such as cultivation, manufacturing and retail, each have a different outlook.

The most optimistic were manufacturers and processors, 73% of whom thought the industry would improve over the next 12 months.

Sixty-seven percent of retailers surveyed said things will be better into 2025.

While they still have a positive outlook for the coming year, cultivators were the most pessimistic, with only 59% saying they expected the industry to improve.

Responses differ by sector

Ricketts of Native Roots explained that each cannabis sector is experiencing changes and varying levels of competition right now.

In mature markets such as Colorado, where Native Roots is based, the retail side is particularly competitive, making it tough for businesses to find a competitive edge and driving a constant need for innovation in customer experience and product offerings.

The same holds true for the cultivation sector, Ricketts said, though those operators face different challenges, including optimizing yields and managing environmental factors.

“I think that manufacturers may be the most optimistic,” Ricketts said, “because, while the retail and cultivation sectors feel more immediate competitive pressure, manufacturers see substantial growth opportunities as they develop new products and technologies.”

More information about the 2024 MJBiz Factbook, including how to subscribe, is available here.




Andrew Long can be reached at

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OCS to allow farmgate stores to sell exclusive products

The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) has plans to soon allow cannabis farmgate stores to sell cannabis products that are exclusive to their location.

In an announcement posted on Thursday, May 9, the OCS says the rule change will occur in late spring, creating new opportunities for cannabis farmgate locations.

Ontario’s cannabis farmgate program issued its first licenses in April 2021, and since then has issued nine such licences across the province, with five in operation.

These new changes, says the OCS, will add value to its farmgate framework and “will help to create engaging destinations for consumers that elevate legal products above illegal alternatives.”

The OCS also plans to engage cannabis producers and retailers about the opportunities presented by this operating model and assess its impact.

One company that helped consult with the OCS on this new program, Sensi Brands, is excited by the opportunity to expand its unique offerings. Station House Cannabis is the retail location attached to Sensi Brands, a licensed cultivator and processor in St. Thomas, Ontario, who received their farmgate licence from the province in 2021.

Sensi Brands’ Founder & CEO Tony Giorgi says the new change will allow them to test out new cultivars and products through their farmgate store before launching them to a wider market, as well as providing a unique opportunity for their farmgate customers.

“For us, we think it’s a huge win and another key step forward in favour of Ontario producers for those who have the ability to offer farmgate. This is a win for Ontario LPs.

“It’s great to have this process to be able to innovate new products and introduce them into the marketplace very quickly before going through national commercialization.”

Giorgi says Sensi Brands now employs around 120 people, and the farmgate location has helped build their brand within the local community of St. Thomas.

“There’s a lot of value to the farmgate store as we’ve learned after running it now for three years. The ability to continue to educate and work within the community is really important.”

Ontario’s farmgate rules allow licensed cannabis producers to apply to operate an Authorized Retail Store at their production facility. These Farmgate Stores are licensed and regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (“AGCO”) like any other retail cannabis store.

One key difference, however, is that these producers can sell products directly from their farms rather than first sending them through the OCS distribution centre.

There are five cannabis farmgate stores open in Ontario: Thrive Cannabis, Kingston Cannabis, Level Up, Royal Cannabis Supply Company, and Station House Cannabis Co. There are four other locations that have received a Retail Store Authorization (RSA), but have not opened.

British Columbia and New Brunswick have also implemented their own farmgate programs. New Brunswick now has six such stores, while BC has only one currently.

| David Brown |

Featured image of Station House Cannabis’ farmgate store in St. Thomas, ON.

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annabis stores in Ontario sold nearly $2 billion worth of cannabis in 2023

Cannabis stores in Ontario sold nearly $2 billion worth of cannabis in 2023 to more than 10 million people, a 12% increase in sales from the previous year. This was the equivalent of 338 million grams of cannabis, a 23% increase from the prior year.

Ontario added 80 new licensed cannabis stores in this time period. The province authorized 276 new stores, a decrease from 497 added in 2022. Another 142 closed in 2023, up from 114 in 2022.

The new report from the OCS is the first of its kind from the agency since Q4 2022. The agency plans to update and publish its By the Numbers data report twice per year.

“As the largest wholesale distributor of legal cannabis in the world, the OCS is proud to deliver comprehensive data aimed at informing Ontarians and supporting industry partners as we enable Canada’s largest and most vibrant cannabis marketplace,” said David Lobo, President and CEO of OCS.

Total cannabis sales in 2023 through authorized cannabis stores in Ontario were $1,941,213,130. The OCS shipped 94,507,896 units to some 1,700 privately owned stores from its distribution centre in Guelph, a 26% increase from 2022.

The average wholesale price of dried cannabis flower was $4.05 a gram, not including HST. As of December 31, 2023, there were 3,983 total active product SKUs listed by the OCS.

Dried flower and pre-rolls were the bulk of these SKUs (28% and 21%), followed by concentrates (infused pre-rolls, distillate, dabs, hash, etc) at 15%, vapes at 14%, edibles at 10%, extracts (ingestible oils, tablets) at 5%, beverages at 5%, and topicals at 2%.

The wholesale price of all cannabis flower, including pre-rolls, dropped compared to 2022, except for 7 gram SKUs, which increased by just 3%.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

About one-fifth (20%) of Ontarians say they consume cannabis on a regular basis, with 27% indicating they consume occasionally. More than half (54%) report purchasing cannabis only from legal sources, while 39% report purchasing from legal and illegal sources. Just 7% say they only buy from illegal sources.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Ontarians say legalizing cannabis has been good for Canada.

There were nine product recalls for cannabis in Ontario in 2023, compared to six in 2022 and 10 in 2021.

| David Brown

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Trichome Consulting Services delivers more than 16 years Cannabis industry experience

Trichome Consulting Services has been providing sound advice for the cannabis sector since 2008, when BC’s John Karroll began assisting friends seeking to navigate Canada’s medical cannabis program.

Sixteen years later, Karroll and Trichome Consulting (TCSI) have seen the regulations evolve, beginning with the MMAR, MMPR, ACMPR, and now, the Cannabis Act. With a focus on securing Health Canada licenses and facilitating successful applications, TCSI has established itself as a trusted leader in the industry.

Not limited to Canada, TCSI is a premier leader in cannabis industry compliance consulting, serving North American and international clients. With a comprehensive range of services, including licensing, regulatory compliance, and operational support, TCSI has successfully secured over 1,000 cannabis licenses in Canada since 2008.

“Our advice in this area is to approach the licensing process with meticulous attention to detail and thorough preparation. We recommend conducting a comprehensive assessment of your facility and operations to ensure compliance with Health Canada’s requirements.”


With the ongoing evolution of the global cannabis Industry, TCSI also provides expanded services to include domestic and international business development with export relationships, marketing, and sales strategies. They assist in brokering agreements for domestic and international sales and setting up affiliate partnerships with top LPs in Canada and leading international companies in the Cannabis Industry.

“Our extensive experience and commitment to excellence have propelled us to become a preferred choice for clients seeking guidance in the burgeoning cannabis sector,” says Karroll.

“Our experienced team excels in liaising with Health Canada and guiding clients through the application process. From professional consulting to patient services, TCSI is dedicated to exceeding client expectations and setting new industry standards globally.”

Some of the current challenges facing the industry, continues Karroll, are the regulatory complexities, market competition, and barriers hindering small-scale players’ entry into the market.

“Our advice in this area is to approach the licensing process with meticulous attention to detail and thorough preparation. We recommend conducting a comprehensive assessment of your facility and operations to ensure compliance with Health Canada’s requirements. This includes implementing robust security measures, designing facilities to meet regulatory standards, and developing detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all aspects of your operations.

“Additionally, we advise clients to seek guidance from experienced consultants who have a deep understanding of the licensing process and can provide expert advice and support every step of the way. By partnering with a knowledgeable consultant like Trichome Consulting Services (TCSI), applicants benefit from our extensive experience navigating the licensing process and increase their chances of success.”

Trichome is also positioning itself to address these challenges by advocating for reduced regulatory barriers and fees imposed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on cannabis businesses, advocating for their clients and the industry at large.

“We recognize that these fees can be prohibitive for small-scale players and hinder their ability to compete with larger corporations. Additionally, we are advocating for further streamlining of licensing processes and regulations to make entry into the industry more accessible for small businesses and individuals. By addressing these issues, we aim to foster a more inclusive and equitable cannabis industry that benefits both entrepreneurs and consumers alike.”

Some of the challenges applicants and licence holders face and that an experienced consulting agency like Trichome can help with include inadequate preparation, a lack of understanding of the current regulatory requirements, poor documentation practices, and a failure to address deficiencies actively.

Karroll explains that many applicants underestimate the complexity of the licensing process and fail to prepare their applications thoroughly, which can lead to incomplete or inaccurate submissions, resulting in delays or rejections.

Applicants may also overlook or misunderstand key regulatory requirements set forth by Health Canada, which can result in non-compliance with security, facility design, or quality assurance protocols, leading to application denials.

To avoid these common pitfalls, applicants should thoroughly educate themselves on the licensing process, seek guidance from experienced consultants, and ensure that their applications are comprehensive, accurate, and compliant with regulatory requirements.

“At Trichome Consulting Services (TCSI), we take pride in being the top choice for cannabis consulting,” says Karroll. “With a wide array of services and unparalleled experience, we’re dedicated to helping you thrive in the dynamic cannabis industry. Whether you need assistance with licensing, compliance, or operational support, rely on us to steer you towards success.”



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Pot stocks surge on report DEA set to reclassify marijuana

Shares of cannabis-related companies jumped Tuesday after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration moved to reclassify marijuana to a less dangerous drug category in what would be a historic shift for the industry.

Tilray Brands Inc. jumped 40 per cent, while Canopy Growth Corp. gained 79 per cent. The MJ PurePlay 100 Index, which tracks the industry globally, rose 22 per cent, the most since October 2022. Meanwhile, the AdvisorShares Pure U.S. Cannabis ETF surged 25 per cent and was halted for volatility in intraday vtrading.

Investors have been long awaiting DEA action on the reclassification of marijuana, which has been grouped with drugs such as LSD and heroin. Moving the substance to a different group would remove additional taxes that cannabis companies have to pay — a major overhang for the industry. The agency has been reviewing the classification for marijuana since September after a nudge from the Biden administration.

“There’s been a lot of rumors coming out in the last few days but this looks official,” said Dan Ahrens, managing director of Advisorshares Investments LLC, adding that this move from the DEA could start a domino effect. “I think it makes it easier for the House and Senate to act on SAFER Banking.”

The SAFER Banking Act would make banking and financial services more accessible for the industry.

Cannabis industry stocks have risen this year and even outperformed the S&P 500 Index as investors bought back into the beaten down names in anticipation of the DEA action. Still, pot stocks are trading at steep discounts to the highs hit a few years ago at the start of the cannabis boom. 

In addition to removing extra taxes cannabis companies have to pay and therefore boosting cash flow, changing the classification could also help bring institutional investment to the industry, Jefferies analyst Owen Bennett wrote in a Tuesday note.

“The major reason current multiples are depressed is lack of institutional ownership,” Bennett wrote, adding that this is due to a combination of factors including major exchanges not listing cannabis stocks.

Reclassification could also prompt more states in the U.S. to legalize marijuana, help destigmatize use and make it easier for the substance to be studied, according to the Jefferies note.

The move “would hugely improve the prospects of full federal legalization within the next 5 years, with a critical piece of this move making it easier to study cannabis and thereby fill in the data gaps where there may be concerns around its widespread use among the population,” said Bennett.

Of course, it’s not clear when the final word on the change could come from the DEA. In his note, Bennett said a rule could be published this week, while Needham analyst Matthew McGinley expects a scheduling announcement in the coming months, he wrote in a note.

“If enacted, rescheduling would be a significant federal reform and the most substantial incremental policy change regarding cannabis at the federal level in a century,” said McGinley.

Carmen ReinickeBloomberg News

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Province extends to citizens the right to homegrown cannabis

For the first time since cannabis was legalized in 2018, adult recreational users in Manitoba will have the green light to grow their own plants for personal use.

“Manitoba will now align with federal legislation on cannabis by allowing people to grow up to four plants per residence,” said Minister of Justice Matt Wiebe in a press release. “This amendment is a direct response to Manitoba consumers and was one of our campaign promises. This bill will provide Manitobans the opportunity to grow their own cannabis as long as it is done in a safe and secure way. The regulatory framework will prioritize public safety, with a focus on protecting youth and ensuring cannabis plants are not accessible to young people.”

The soon-to-be-introduced amendments to the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act will leave Quebec as the only province with a ban on homegrown recreational cannabis.

According to Wiebe, the legislative changes won’t come into effect until the province has established adequate safety and security requirements for growing cannabis at home.

“I want to emphasize that, as we implement these changes, the safety of the public, and particularly of young people, is paramount,” Wiebe said.

The ban on homegrown plants was originally enacted under the Progressive Conservative government. They initiated a fine of $2,542 for those caught breaking the law. Between 2019 and 2023, 13 people have been charged according to the Winnipeg Police Service.

The not-for-profit organization TobaGrown, founded by Jesse Lavoie, has been challenging the law since it came into effect. In two court cases, one in 2020 and another in 2023, the ruling was upheld.

Premier Wab Kinew has long voiced his opposition to the laws banning homegrown product. He made it a part of his election campaign in 2023.

“We are incredibly pleased with the Manitoba government’s decision to bring our laws into alignment with the federal Cannabis Act and the rest of the country,” says Lavoie. “It’s been a long journey for us at TobaGrown to reach this point and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the Manitoba cannabis community. Thank you, Premier Kinew and the Manitoba government.”

April 29, 2024 By Local Journalism Initiative

By Brenda Sawatzky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Niverville Citizen

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Germany Decriminalised Cannabis

The German government has approved new legislation which decriminalises cannabis.

This policy allows over-18s to possess a maximum of 25 grams of cannabis for personal use and grow up to three plants at home.

In the UK, on the other hand, the government continues to support prohibition, unlike many western countries – including MaltaCanada and several states in the US – which have opened up access to cannabis in recent years.

The UK government cites concerns about the risk to mental health associated with using cannabis as a justification for supporting prohibition.

Cannabis and mental health

There is extensive research exploring the relationship between cannabis and mental health problems, such as psychosis. However, no causal link has been established because to run such studies would be unethical.

There is, though, a significant association between cannabis and psychosis. The evidence suggests that some people may be more vulnerable than others to developing psychosis through cannabis use.

Although these health concerns are shared by some organisations in Germany, this has not prevented policy reform.

The German cannabis clubs will have quality control as part of their ethos, providing information about potency and any potential contaminants.

This is important as the evidence suggests there is a dose-response relationship – an association between the amount consumed and the incidence of effect – between the strength and frequency of cannabis use and the risk of developing problems such as psychosis.

Cannabis users who experience psychosis are very few when compared to the total number using the drug. One studyestimated that to avoid one person developing psychosis, up to 10,000 men and 29,000 women aged 20-24 would need to be prevented from using cannabis.

The risk to mental health associated with cannabis, then, is relatively low.

Alcohol and Tobacco: Regulated but riskier

Unlike cannabis, alcohol is regulated in the UK. Although there are restrictions on its use, these have been loosened in recent years. As with cannabis, there are risks to mental health as a consequence of using alcohol.

The risk of developing depression among heavy alcohol use is significant: one in two will experience depression. So despite alcohol being regulated or legal, the risks to a person’s mental health are greater than those posed by cannabis.

A significant advantage of decriminalising cannabis would be the potential public health benefits. In the UK, most people using cannabis combine it with tobacco to smoke. The risks to health as a result of using tobacco are well documented and include a range of cancers as well as heart disease and stroke.

Although many young people consider themselves non-smokers they can be inadvertently introduced to tobacco when they smoke a cannabis joint. This creates not only a health risk but also the chance of becoming dependent on tobacco.

However, there is also evidence that cannabis used without tobacco may increase the risk of physical health problems. A recent study from the US, for example, where fewer people combine cannabis with tobacco, found a link between cannabis use and heart disease.

Because cannabis is prohibited, it is difficult for tax-funded organisations such as those promoting public health to intervene.

Public health

In contrast, German policy reform includes a public health education programme which aims to reduce the risks of using cannabis.

Under prohibition, there is no quality control or information about the potency of cannabis or which chemicals it contains. The lack of regulation leaves buyers at the mercy of the illicit market. The Office for National Statistics estimates that 2.5 million people in England and Wales reported using cannabis in 2023.

Despite the relatively widespread use of cannabis in the UK, the major political parties, Labour and the Conservatives, show no sign of changing the legal status of cannabis. Perhaps influenced by polling suggesting support for the current policy approach.

We know from experience that governments don’t need to wait until there is public support to change their policy approach to drugs. In 2007, when the Labour government introduced a ban on smoking in public areas, this wasn’t supported by many people.

The risks to health from using cannabis, then, are relatively small compared to regulated drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. But even if the health argument isn’t enough to trigger a policy change, the economic case could be.

While decriminalising cannabis in the UK would save on criminal prosecution costs, going a step further and legalisingcannabis could bring in significantly higher financial returns.

The estimated tax revenue that could be raised by the legalisation (rather than just the decriminalisation) of cannabis in Germany is €4.7 billion (£4 billion) annually.

A regulated commercial market like Canada’s could create jobs as well as raise income from tax.

As the UK public finances continue to be squeezed, particularly around the NHS, persisting with the prohibition of cannabis is a missed opportunity for the nation’s health and a costly policy for its public services.

April 26, 2024 By The Conversation

Disclosure statement:

Mark Monaghan receives funding from UK Government, Cabinet Office and the ESRC. He has in the past received funding from the Nuffield Foundation.

Ian Hamilton does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


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Recognizing Budtenders as industry allies
Budtenders are frontline educators who hold the key to consumer preferences, product knowledge and ultimately, sales. In an industry with restricted marketing avenues, engaging with Budtenders and retail decision-makers is a strategic imperative. By understanding and leveraging insights from Budtenders, Canadian licensed producers can position themselves for success and bridge the gap between consumers and cannabis products.

Tether, a Canadian Budtender community of close to 5,000, recognizes the vital role that Budtenders play in driving the success of cannabis operations. This is why every year Tether surveys 200+ Canadian Budtenders as critical research for the industry’s development.

Invest in Budtender Education

Educating Budtenders about your products is essential. 34 per cent of Budtenders surveyed identified terpenes as the area of cannabis they want to learn more about, with genetics coming in second at 18 per cent. Equipping Budtenders with training materials that include detailed product information, recommended usage guidelines and potential effects, empowers them to offer informed recommendations to consumers. In Tether’s 2023 survey, the most common customer questions were dosage/potency, strain selection, product type, and total/dominant terpenes.

In-store visits, virtual sessions and pop-ups can keep Budtenders informed by enhancing customer satisfaction and strengthening the credibility and reputation of brands. Engaging with Budtenders provides opportunities for feedback and also demonstrates commitment to supporting their success. Beyond sampling, Budtenders can learn about products through brand ambassadors and LP reps (up 31% from 2022) and by attending brand pop-ups and events (up 15% from 2022).

From Budtenders to Brand Advocates

Sampling has emerged as a powerful tool for Budtender education, with 95 per cent of those surveyed requesting products first-hand. Sampling empowers Budtenders to become authentic advocates, capable of conveying unique product qualities to consumers. Plus, tastings and sampling events allow growers, reps and ambassadors an opportunity to discuss product education in a relaxed environment and showcase the team behind the brand. This is the perfect mix of community-building and education – an environment in which Budtenders thrive.

Encourage Budtenders to share their experiences and insights through product reviews, feedback surveys and social media. Facilitate knowledge sharing sessions or forums where Budtenders can provide feedback directly to your team.

Budtender Preferences and Consumer Behaviour

The preferences of Budtenders reflect broader shifts in consumer behaviour with traditional consumption methods like pre-rolls and bongs still favoured by 80 per cent of surveyed individuals. However, dabs and extracts are gaining popularity year after year. Capturing and understanding Budtender and consumer insights through sales trends, B2B surveys and demographics helps drive product development, branding and marketing efforts.

The Green Revolution

Budtenders’ insights shed light on the pressing need for sustainability in the Canadian cannabis industry, with 64 per cent of Budtenders surveyed saying it’s an area the industry can improve on and 84 per cent mentioning packaging.

Sustainability measures could include eco-friendly packaging, waste reduction, responsible cultivation methods and sustainable sourcing – investments into the future of the industry and our planet.

Join The Movement

Budtenders are more than sales associates, they are brand ambassadors with the potential to shape consumer perceptions and drive market trends. Invest in them and empower them to drive mutual success.

April 30, 2024 By Katie Pringle –  article from

Katie Pringle is the CEO and co-founder of Marigold PR, an award-winning public relations agency serving North American cannabis brands. In 2021, Katie c -o-founded Tether, a Canadian Budtender community that provides brands with a cost-effective way to connect, promote, and educate. Since 2017, Katie has been a leading force in organizing events for women in cannabis, driving positive change and paving the way for a more inclusive future.

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Cannabis Is Officially Legal In Germany

It’s official – with the clock striking midnight in Germany, and the date changing from March 31st to April 1st, the nation’s new adult-use cannabis legalization policy has become the law of the land. Adults (18 years old and older) in Germany may now partake in the newly established freedoms created by the implementation of the first pillar of the CanG law.

“It was time to initiate a paradigm shift in drug policy, ending the failed prohibition policy of the last hundred years.” stated Kai-Friedrich Niermann, leading attorney at KFN+ Law Office, about the historic change in Germany’s cannabis policies.

Germany is not the first country to have passed a national adult-use cannabis legalization measure, however, legalization in Germany is the most significant national policy change of its type since the start of global cannabis prohibition many decades ago. Below are the most noteworthy provisions of Germany’s new cannabis law that consumers and patients should know about.


Cannabis is being removed from Germany’s Narcotics List now that the new law is implemented, and the significance of that policy change cannot be overstated. One thing that may not be on everyone’s radar, but should be, is that the de-listing of cannabis in Germany will improve safe access for medical cannabis patients by removing some hurdles in the medical cannabis supply chain and streamlining processes for pharmacies. Cannabis research will be easier to pursue, and hopefully academic institutions will begin to receive national and/or EU-provided funds for specific research projects.

Historically, the cultivation of medical cannabis in Germany was regulated by a licensing procedure, with the nation’s Federal Office for Drugs and Medical Devices making the final determination on the quantity and price of domestically produced medical cannabis. Imports were not subject to the same process, and that provided a huge advantage to companies based outside of Germany. Germany’s new adult-use cannabis law should provide a tremendous boost to the domestic medical industry.


The main initial way for adults to legally source cannabis in Germany once the new law takes effect is to cultivate it in their homes. Adults will be able to cultivate up to three plants in private for personal use according to the proposed measure. Personal cannabis cultivation is popular in other jurisdictions where it is permitted, including in jurisdictions where consumers have other options from which to legally source their cannabis like storefronts.

It’s virtually guaranteed that many adult consumers in Germany will choose to cultivate their cannabis, and that will, in turn, create massive opportunities overnight for companies that specialize in cultivation-related products and services such as seeds, grow lights, plant nutrients, harvesting equipment, odor control, and drying equipment. Cannabis seeds and clones are legal in Germany now, including for adults who are not citizens of Germany.


In addition to being able to cultivate cannabis, adults in Germany are now permitted to possess a personal amount of cannabis (up to 25 grams). In addition to the expressed legal possession limit, penalties for possessing slightly more than the legal threshold will be considered an ‘administrative violation’ in Germany rather than a criminal offense yielding jail time.

According to a 2021 report from Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf, Germany will save an estimated 1.05 billion euros annually by no longer enforcing cannabis prohibition, in addition to judicial savings of 313 million euros per year.


Another component of Germany’s new law involves permitting the launch and operation of noncommercial cannabis clubs. Clubs are currently expected to start on July 1, 2024. Membership-based noncommercial clubs, from which adult consumers can legally source their cannabis, will be subjected to various regulations. Seeds and clones are expected to be largely sourced from noncommercial clubs once they launch.

One of the sticking points leading up to the recently reported final coalition agreement was the implementation of noncommercial clubs, and part of the coalition’s compromise was to stagger the implementation date. After the launch, non-commercial clubs will likely be common throughout most of Germany.


The previously listed items are part of the ‘first phase’ of Germany’s legalization plan, often referred to as ‘the first pillar.’ The second phase/pillar involves the launch of regional adult-use cannabis commerce pilot programs, like what is already in place in the Netherlands and Switzerland, but on a significantly larger scale. Advocates will need to work extra hard in the coming months to ensure that Germany’s legalization launch is a success.

“The most interesting questions are now how the law will be applied in practice and whether, shortly after entering into force, it will be amended to keep up with the minister’s promises. The development of the coming weeks will be of great interest to the cultivation associations, which may have to adjust their intended organizational setup.” stated Peter Homberg of leading international law firm Dentons (see Peter’s full interview in the embedded podcast video below).

“There is still a long way to go before complete destigmatization and fair legalization are achieved. Neither the consumers, nor the activists, nor the industry must let up on this path, but must continue to do everything in their power every day to ensure that this path can be taken successfully.” stated Kai Friedrich Niermann of KFN+ Law Office.


Written by Johnny Green on 

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Cannabis Is Associated With Quality Of Life Improvements

Chronically ill patients who use legally prescribed medical cannabis products report improvements in their overall quality of life according to the findings of a recent analysis conducted by a team of researchers in Germany.

Per data published in the German medical journal Schmerz, eighty-four percent of medical cannabis patients surveyed reported quality of life improvements following their use of prescribed medical cannabis.

The team of German researchers assessed patient-reported data in a nationwide sampling involving 1,582 patients authorized to use cannabis by their German physicians. Since 2017, doctors in Germany have been permitted to prescribe medical cannabis to patients who are historically unresponsive to ‘traditional’ therapies.

“The survey of Copeia captured early 2022 patient-reported outcomes (PRO) in Germany under cannabis medicinal product (CAM) therapy, with particular attention to symptoms, symptom changes, indications, side effects, dosages, and cost bearers.” the researchers stated about their analysis.

“A standardized questionnaire was administered online nationwide in dialogue form over a 15-week period to collect itemized symptoms and PRO. Recruitment was supported by pharmacies, prescribing physicians, and patient associations. Inclusion criteria included physician-prescribed CAM therapy.” the researchers also stated.

Patients involved in the analysis reported suffering from chronic pain, depression, sleep disturbances, and various other symptoms.

“Of 1582 participants, 1030 data sets (65%) could be completely analyzed. There was a heterogeneous patient population, whose common feature was disease chronicity. The frequency distribution of symptoms showed a homogeneous pattern for the respective indications, in which the most frequent six (pain 71%, sleep disturbance 64%, stress/tension 52%, inner restlessness 52%, depressive mood 44% and muscle tension 43%) seem to have a special significance.” the researchers stated about their findings.

“A symptom matrix (SMX) composed of different symptoms seems to play a special role in CAM therapy to improve the quality of life of chronically ill patients, regardless of the underlying disease. The SMX could contribute to the identification of an indication and to targeted treatment monitoring.” the researchers concluded.


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