Germany will likely join a growing list of countries that have legalised medical cannabis or are moving to do so.
On January 8, the Federal Health Ministry in Germany released a draft bill to allow pharmacies to distribute to chronically ill patients cannabis flowers and pharmaceutical grade extracts.
The cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes will also be allowed in the country, but not by patients. The bill recommends that the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices oversee the cultivation of cannabis and distribution in pharmacies.
The new bill emphasizes reimbursing patients for their costs. This is not allowed for U.S. patients using state-legal medical cannabis as cannabis is still federally prohibited.
As of October 1 2015, 527 patients had a limited permit from the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices to obtain imported cannabis at their own expense (on average, 18 euros a gram). Germany imported 32 kilograms of cannabis in 2013, and 48 kilograms in 2014.