HUNDREDS of companies are still being hounded in German courts for alleged breaches of the country’s strict cannabis laws – despite the country signaling plans to introduce adult use legislation imminently.
Just last month, two German companies failed in their bid to overturn a hemp sales ban after a court dismissed their case.
The Administrative Court in Braunschweig aligned itself with previous judgments which concluded that low-THC hemp-derived products had potential “intoxicating” properties.
The lawyer representing the appellant companies estimates that there are “several hundred” similar cases pending before courts across the country.
No poisoning potential
But with the new Traffic Light Coalition Keen on a complete overhaul of the country’s approach to cannabis, he hopes new legislation will thwart these actions.
Kai-Friedrich Niermann told BusinessCan: “In 2021 the committee of experts at the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), on behalf of the last government, concluded that products derived from low-THC industrial hemp had no potential for intoxication.
“Yet the last government consistently refused to recognize these findings and so the courts erred on the side of caution and prohibition.
“The conclusions and proposals of the commission of experts have now been accepted by the new government and could be adopted immediately. They are currently under discussion in the Bundestag in Berlin.
No change until 2023?
However, with the situation in Ukraine prompting the new government to make a major overhaul of its energy and defense policies, it may take some time before the Adult Use Bill and Hemp Amendments are passed. by Parliament.
Mr. Niermann added: “Theoretically, the implementation of the changes for hemp products could be rapid. Realistically, however, this will take until Parliament’s summer recess.
“In the worst case, everything will only be decided with the new cannabis legislation, perhaps at the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.”
As a companyCAnna reported Last September, Me Niermann represented two German companies before the administrative court of Braunschweig.
One of the two, Hanf Farm, was looking to remove restrictions on the import of CBD flowers from Belgium and the second company, Hempro Internationallikewise, has appealed restrictions on its import of hemp tea.
Goods destroyed without compensation
Despite the use of KanaVape judgment as grounds for their appeals, the court dismissed them and they were brought before the Lower Saxony Higher Administrative Court.
Mr. Niermann said: “In our opinion, commercial hemp poses no danger to the health of the population. Even the BfArM expert committee, which advises the federal government on amendments to the Narcotics Act, recommended in March last year that the element of intoxicating abuse be removed.
The German Cannabis Industry Association (BvCW) produced his own research demonstrating that it is virtually impossible for industrial hemp to be diverted for the purpose of intoxication – and calls for swift action to end these lawsuits.
Marijn Roersch van der Hoogte, departmental coordinator for industrial hemp and food at the BvCW, said: “After reading our article, it should be clear that the numerous accusations against small and medium-sized companies must now be dropped.
Mt Niermann added: “I am dealing with around 15 criminal cases against CBD and hemp leaf tea dealers. I estimate that there will be several hundred similar cases across the country, in addition to the 185,000 preliminary criminal proceedings against recreational users.
With enforcement against the industry set to continue until the new laws come into force, businesses risk having their assets confiscated and destroyed, with no recourse to damages, he added. .
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