This week a German court ruled that medical marijuana patients can grow their own medicine. Germany has a medical marijuana program, but up until the court ruling, most patients had to purchase their medicine through pharmacies. Per Leafly:
The ruling occurred after five people issued a complaint to a court in Cologne after they were refused permission to grow cannabis at home. These people actually had permits to purchase and consume medical cannabis, but they wanted the option to grow plants at home because the cost to purchase cannabis was too high and their health insurance didn’t cover it.
Three of the five plaintiffs met requirements to grow plants at home because they were able to assure the court that their plants wouldn’t be accessible to third parties. The approved applicants will have a permit to purchase and use cannabis for medical purposes and will be permitted to grow the amount needed to treat their chronic pain. However, the other two were rejected because one patient had a too-small apartment for safe cultivation and couldn’t prove that third parties would be denied access to the plants, while the other patient had not exhausted other available treatment options before turning to medical cannabis.
The court ruling doesn’t apply to each and every medical marijuana patient in Germany. The court ruling means that it’s possible for a patient that is licensed to purchase, possess, and use medical marijuana to also be granted the right to grow their own medicine. Each patient will have to pursue their own case, and if they can prove that they meet stringent requirements, then they may be granted the right to grow their own medicine.
Being able to grow ones own medical marijuana is a very important right that I wish more medical marijuana states allowed in the United States. When home cultivation isn’t allowed, it forces patients to pay high prices to dispensaries, or in the case of Germany, high prices at pharmacies. In some cases, due to supply shortages, there isn’t any safe access at all, as in the case of New Jersey.