The Green Scene: What $20 Weed Looks Like In Germany
Earlier this year, Germany passed one of the world’s most progressive medical cannabis plans. Has it made an effect on the prices per gram?
Earlier this year, Germany passed one of the world’s most progressive medical cannabis plans. The new legislation brings cannabis into pharmacies and requires public insurance providers to foot the bill for cannabis products when prescribed for severe conditions. It also brings production back into the control of the government. So how have these changes affected the price of cannabis, both illicit and regulated?
Germany’s pharmacy model
In a landmark bill, members of Germany’s parliament voted unanimously to legalize the use of medical cannabis. Marlene Mortler, the German government’s drug commissioner, had been for a bill of this nature for quite some time. She believes that allowing patients to buy cannabis from their local pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription is common sense.
Because of such a rapid increase in demand, the price of regulated cannabis from a German pharmacy is on the expensive side. Usually fluctuating between 12 and 20 euros, a $20 bill will likely get you just over a gram of cannabis.
But keep in mind that tourists and visitors cannot obtain medical cannabis like they can in other areas of the world, so the black market is your best bet in the European country.
Germany has much stricter guidelines than California for prescribing marijuana. Almost anyone who wants a prescription can get one there. In Germany things are more regulated and bureaucratic. Doctors are checking to make sure medical marijuana is not used for recreational purposes. – Goerg Wurth, head of the German Hemp association
The cost-effective German black market
Germany’s enforcement on cannabis possession has been very relaxed the past couple years which is great news for the underground recreational cannabis economy. The lack of criminal prosecution in virtually all of the countries states has given rise to almost 25% of the population admitting to trying cannabis within their lifetime.
To survive the recent legislative changes in Germany, cannabis dealers have had to undercut the prices of their pharmacy based competitors. Because the black market does not want to give up their customers that consume for medical purposes, a price point of 10 euros a gram is pretty standard around the country.
So, $20 will get you somewhere between 1.5-2 grams of cannabis, depending on the quality.
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There is, however, a tipping point in pricing where consumers will go from a legal market purchase to the black market — but they much prefer the former.