Germany’s leap into homegrown medical marijuana is nothing if not orderly.
The government is moving to assure a local supply of the drug by giving out grower contracts for 10,400 kilograms (22,928 pounds) of pot over the next four years. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices’s so-called Cannabis Agency will choose between 79 bidders from growers by the end of June, the agency said on Monday.
Germany has relied on imports from the Netherlands and Canada since it legalized medical marijuana in March 2017. Now it’s aiming for the first local harvest by the end of next year. Producers and pharmacies will still be allowed to buy from foreign growers, but the tender will ensure a high-quality native supply is also available, said Maik Pommer, a spokesman for the drugs agency.
“It’s about ensuring the security of the supply,” Pommer said. He wouldn’t comment on where the main growing regions will be, though the contracts are being given out in 200-kilogram lots to make them accessible for small growers.
The bidding process hasn’t been devoid of controversy. A smaller initial tender had to be halted after a Dusseldorf court ruled that companies hadn’t been given enough time to adjust after a change in the bidding process. The current tender is also facing a similar challenge, with a court date fixed for April 10.