The licensing of medical cannabis cultivators and distributors in Germany will be delayed for at least another six months, Deutsche Welle reports.
Technically, medical cannabis has been legal via prescriptions in Germany since 2017, but the Federal Ministry of Health has, so far, not acted on the legislation; officials haven’t issued a single cultivation license in the almost two years since the law was passed.
According to the report, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices said it needed more time to establish the rules that will eventually oversee the nation’s medical cannabis program.
The agency’s statement was prompted by an official inquiry from opposition politicians in the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) which has criticized the delays. The FDP is joined by two other German opposition parties in calling for the full legalization of cannabis.
FDP lawmaker Wieland Schinnenburg said that the government was creating a “deliberate obstruction” to the launch of Germany’s medical cannabis program and called it a “catastrophe” for German businesses.
With licenses expected sometime during the second quarter of 2019, the soonest that patients in Germany can expect non-imported commercial medical cannabis products is likely early 2020.