Germany Grants One Man the Right to Grow — with a Catch

On Sunday, it was announced that a German citizen will be allowed to grow his own cannabis for the first time in the country’s history.

The 53-year old German suffers from multiple sclerosis and endures symptoms such as spastic paralysis, speech disorders, and depression. The Mannheim resident was already one of 900 Germans to be granted access to medical marijuana, but patients are required to purchase their medication from a licensed pharmacy, where one gram of cannabis costs roughly 15 euros (or $16.83 USD using current conversion rates).

The man had been pleading with the state to amend their laws, even filing numerous lawsuits informing the courts he couldn’t afford his nearly 15,000 euros monthly medical marijuana bill. Earlier this year, Germany’s Federal Administrative Court determined that BfArM must “allow the claimant to grow cannabis, harvest the drug, and use it for the medical purpose of his treatment.”

The country’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, BfArM for short, declared Sunday that the patient would be legally permitted to cultivate a maximum of 130 plants per year from his bathroom, strictly for personal use. He will be allowed to have 20 plants growing concurrently in his home laboratory lavatory, and any leftover plant parts after harvest must be destroyed. He is required to house his medical marijuana in a “secure storage unit” according to BfArM’s announcement.

“This is a slap in the face for policy makers who have so far failed to correctly implement the first ruling of the Federal Administrative Court in 2005,” an Association for Cannabis as Medicine spokesperson said. “The decision gives health policy considerations precedence over a categorical rejection of self-sufficiency,” the spokesperson added.

A bill was brought forth in Berlin earlier this summer to address the issue of prescription reimbursement for medical marijuana on a case-by-case basis. According to the announcement, the man’s cultivation provisions grant him legal growing rights until the summer of 2017 or whenever health insurance providers decide to cover the cost of medication for their medical marijuana patients — whichever comes first.

We reached out to our resident cultivation expert Allie Beckett to see just how the logistics of a bathroom grow on this scale would work — not well.

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All Images Courtesy of Allie Beckett

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