There is no way that recreational reform will begin for at least another year in Germany, even if German politicians pass recreational cannabis reform this year. In the meantime, the needs of cannabis patients should not be neglected
Recreational cannabis reform is “sexy.” The term is bandied around, certainly in Europe, as a time when the only barrier to obtaining cannabis is the time to travel to a local cannabis shop and the money to buy such products.
No matter how appealing this sounds in theory, there are many bumps and hurdles to getting there. And in the meantime, there is a huge and still unserved market left essentially to fend for themselves at all stages of the process. Namely cannabis patients.
Here is one commitment the industry can make in the short term, that will make a difference in the lives of those who need access the most, and most immediately.
The State of Cannabis Access For Patients
It is still extremely hard to obtain a cannabis prescription – and beyond that, afford ones meds. This is for two reasons. The first is that most doctors remain extremely cautious about prescribing the drug. The second is that even with a prescription in hand, patients are still in the dark about where to find cannabis-stocking pharmacies, and beyond that, how to get such prescriptions covered by health insurance companies (which make the entire process much more complicated).
In a city like Frankfurt, the “Drug Department” has now set up a pilot “cannabis program” where patients are given the opportunity to meet with “a doctor and a lawyer” to warn them about the dangers – both legal and medical – about using the drug. This phone number does not have any special staff but is actually answered by a civil servant who works for the department on a regular basis and on other affairs.
Beyond this, it is not obvious how to obtain any special help with paperwork for insurance coverage.
Doctors are offered regular online training courses, held in cooperation with the Center for Interdisciplinary Addiction Research at the University of Hamburg.
None of this is very user-friendly – so much so that finding even the webpage is hard because it is not promoted.
This is not the way to go.
Nor is ad hoc training supported by only one clinic or firm.
If the industry really wants to increase sales, this is the hard work that needs to be done, now. The most valuable cannabis consumers, year over year, are patients, not recreational users of the male gender, aged between 25-65.
Coming Together To Create A Real Difference
I am currently putting together an idea to get the industry to work together, and further with the city of Frankfurt, to change this reality. Any cannabis distributor, pharmacy or doctor interested in working with me to do this, please get in touch with me directly at margueritearnold (at) gmx.de or via Linked In.
If we do not make a difference in our industry, how can we expect to convince others that such an approach is necessary?