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Medical cannabis oil – Germany unveils ambitious plans
In a recent public announcement, Germany’s Minister of Health has hinted that the country may roll out a medical cannabis program by as early as next year. Hermann Groehe, who presented the draft legislation to cabinet, says the country aims to treat patients in the best possible way.
The Telegraph reports that the announcement has been welcomed by patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, PTSD, chronic pain or glaucoma who hope to get access to legal cannabis despite the fact that the uses of cannabis are still being determined by researchers. Several countries around the world have already eased marijuana laws.
Over 23 states in the USA have decriminalized medical marijuana, and non-psychoactive hemp oil is already widely used. Australia is set to follow suit while Canada has gone so far as to fast track complete legalization of marijuana, including that of recreational consumption.
Minister Groehe was quick to point out that legalizing recreational cannabis consumption would not be part of the country’s plans. Only individuals who meet prescribed conditions will have access to medical marijuana.
This approach tends to be the norm at the moment. Australia is also not keen on legalizing recreational use. Interest groups opposed to legalization are fearful that easy access to marijuana could lead to a spike in crime, drug abuse and a dependence on harder substances.
If one were to rely on the Colorado legalization experience, then it would appear that these views are unfounded. Statistics show the US state saw a decrease in petty crime while controlled access not only resulted in a safer environment for users, but managed to free up resources and boost state coffers considerably.
Medical benefits of hemp oil
Medical marijuana and hemp oils are used by patients to medicate for a variety of ailments, but
science has not yet conclusively determined the efficacy of such treatments. It could be that reported benefits derived from medical cannabis are superficial at best, with users experiencing nothing more than a placebo effect. That said, the available evidence that hemp oil and medical cannabis can play a role in treatment regimens certainly remains encouraging.
The advantages of hemp cultivation are numerous and are not limited to the medical field. Germany’s economy could receive a boost from subsidiary industries reliant on hemp production. Hemp can be used to make textiles, paper, rope and military grade canvas. Hemp can also be used to produce bio-fuels and cleaning agents, including carpet shampoos and personal hygeine products.
A new composite called Hemp-crete is taking the construction industry by storm. The product was invented in the Netherlands and is being used to build houses which have better fire retardent and earthquake resistant properties than houses built from traditional materials.
Hemp-crete absorbs carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, a factor which could see in being used as an application to build environmentally friendly roads and highways. Resurfacing Germany’s Auto-bahn with this product has already been suggested.
Cultivation, Supply and Demand
Germany has an ideal climate for industrial scale hemp cultivation. However, according to Minister Groehe, until such stage as the country has its own supervised cannabis plantations, Germany will continue to import medical marijuana and hemp products.
Such tight controls are a thorn in the side of medical marijuana researchers. Many are under international pressure in the race to find scientific answers, yet claim the limited cannabis supply is unable to meet their demands.
Access to imported medical cannabis is both expensive and time consuming. Taxes, red tape and import controls all serve to complicate the process. A sustainable and locally grown crop would go a long way to ease these frustrations.
Cannabis cultivation in Germany may just prove to be a winner. Already cannabis sales in the US state of Colorado are expected to reach the $1 billion mark for 2016. Of this revenue, the government will profit financially by implementing a stiff tax on all produce.
If Germany would follow suit, it becomes evident that the country could see at least an additional 100 million Euros flowing through state coffers. This added source of revenue would go a long way towards contributing to the economy.
Minister Groehe has indicated the roll out of Germany’s medical cannabis program could begin as early as spring of 2017. Until such stage as the legislation has been approved, all current laws would remain in effect.