What will be the biggest challenge clients face? What have advisors done in different jurisdictions to protect clients?

I would like to differentiate between the medicinal cannabis side and CBD because that’s a totally different story here in Germany. So, as I said, only medicinal cannabis is legal at the moment. The German federal states don’t have permission to handle it as they want; it’s different from the United States. If you’re caught with marijuana, it’s a criminal offence wherever you are. It’s only medicinal cannabis that is accessible and even this is difficult to get hold of with special doctors and prescriptions.

Clients also need to know that they’re not allowed to advertise medicinal cannabis to consumers, it’s only to healthcare professionals. CBD is a totally different issue and we do have CBD products. We even have a few stores, like I saw in Canada a few years ago in Toronto, where they sell CBD products, but they’re very rare and the legal situation is quite unclear.

Here’s a summary:

  • Regulatory landscape for cannabis in Germany: for recreational purposes it’s illegal, according to the German Narcotic Drugs Act
  • Medicinal Cannabis has only been legal since 2017
  • May not be purchased directly by consumers as it is classified as a narcotic
  • Available only on a special prescription
  • Not advertised to end consumers but to healthcare professionals only

Legal status of CBD in Germany in various aspects is unclear.

A CBD product does not fall under the regulations of the Narcotic Drugs Act if:

  • it originates from cultivation in countries of the European Union with certified seeds (commercial hemp) or
  • the THC content does not exceed 0.2% and
  • the traffic exclusively serves commercial or scientific purposes, which exclude abuse for intoxication purposes.

We do have a recent positive decision by the German Supreme Court regarding a tea called “hemp bar” with intoxication-free “CBD flowers” that can be sold. The tea consists of CBD flowers, THC content is below 0.2%. The accusation was that one could theoretically bake something with it and then the THC content would be above 0.2%. The Supreme Court, however, did not follow this line.

Contributing Advisors