Pubdate: Mon, 02 Nov 2015
Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Copyright: 2015 Telegraph Media Group Limited
Author: Melanie Hall, in Berlin


GERMANY plans to set up a state cannabis agency to regulate the 
drug's cultivation and distribution to treat seriously ill patients.

More pain sufferers would be given regulated access to the drug on 
prescription and paid for by their health insurance under measures 
outlined in a draft bill from the ministry of health and seen by 
German newspaper Weltam Sonntag.

However, patients would still be banned from growing the drug. Until 
now, almost 400 pain sufferers in Germany have been legally 
authorised to obtain cannabis at their own expense, almost 
exclusively those suffering from terminal cancer.

The demand has been met through imports from the Netherlands, the 
newspaper reported.

The proposals to establish state-controlled cannabis production in 
Germany follows much debate, and comes after predictions of a rise in 
the number of patients needing cannabis treatment in the future. 
Supply bottlenecks with Dutch producers have led to weeks of waiting times.

The state cannabis agency would determine the price that health 
insurance companies have to pay.

A change in the law is to be decided on by the German parliament.

Earlier this year, Marlene Mortler, the federal commissioner on 
drugs, said it was hoped the new law could take effect next year.

Possession, cultivation and dealing in cannabis remain prohibited.
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