Whereas previously only a few thousand patients with an exemption permit were allowed to get a prescription of medicinal cannabis flowers at their own expense in Germany, this figure is likely to grow significantly in the coming years, especially since health insurance will now have to generally bear the costs. Although the estimation of a potential of one million cannabis patients (Grotenhermen) seems to be quite high, the assumption of the federal government of between 5,000 – 10,000 patients might to be quite diffident. Ultimately, the demand will emerge from the interplay between the patients’ actual demand, the practice of prescriptions by physicians as well as the administrative practices of health insurance and authorities.
Perhaps figures from other countries, such as Israel, about 26,000 patients (with a population of 8 million) or Canada, more than 100,000 patients (with a population of more than 35 million), let surmise how big the number could become. The group of pain patients alone, one of the main target groups for an application of medicinal cannabis and comprising about 17% of all Germans or every third household in Europe, is very large.