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German MS Patient is First-Ever Allowed to Grow MMJ

A multiple sclerosis patient in Germany has been approved to grow cannabis for personal use by the country’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, marking the first time the body has made such an allowance, according to a report from Deutsche Welle.

The decision comes after the patient filed multiple lawsuits against the institute, claiming that he could not afford the monthly cost of his medical marijuana, which ran more than $1,600 per month. Germany’s Federal Administrative Court ultimately ruled that the man be permitted to “grow cannabis, harvest the drug and use it for the purpose of his treatment.”

Under the ruling, the claimant can grow up to 130 plants a year in his bathroom, up to 20 at one time.

However, a bill is currently circulating parliament that would allow prescription and reimbursement of medical cannabis by health insurers which, if passed, would likely cover the drug costs for the patient and void his growing permit.

In 2005, a Federal Administrative Court ruling gave health policy considerations precedence over a categorical rejection of self-sufficiency — which should have permitted some vulnerable patients to grow their own cannabis if they could not afford to buy it from the pharmacies.

“This is a slap in the face for policy makers who have so far failed to correctly implement the first ruling of the Federal Administrative Court,” a spokesperson for the Association for Cannabis as Medicine said in the report.

The patient’s permit expires in the summer of 2017, or sooner if the parliament passes the health insurance reimbursement bill.

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