Germany is in the midst of the most robust and complex cannabis policy and industry endeavor in the history of humankind. Policymakers and industry regulators in Germany have worked diligently since the 2021 election to craft the laws, rules and regulations that will eventually govern a national adult-use cannabis industry.
Given the size of Germany’s economy and its geographical position in the heart of the European continent, Germany’s adult-use industry will instantly become the largest on the planet once it is launched. Currently, only Canada has a nationwide adult-use cannabis industry that is open to anyone of legal age and involves products that are not just of the low-THC variety.
Legalization can never come soon enough. However, the pace at which Germany’s new coalition government has moved on the adult-use cannabis front is considerable, given that the results of the 2021 election are not even one year old. Lawmakers and regulators in Germany want to legalize cannabis in as sensible, effective and efficient of a manner as possible, and that is not an easy thing to do in a nation that is home to over 83 million people and shares nine borders with other countries.
Commissioner Burkhard Blienert
Fortunately for Germany, they have a very qualified Commissioner on Narcotic Drugs at the Federal Ministry of Health helping oversee the legalization process: Mr. Burkhard Blienert. The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) is extremely proud and honored to announce that Mr. Blienert will be the keynote speaker at ICBC’s upcoming Berlin Conference, taking place July 19-20.
Commissioner Blienert’s resume is extensive, as he has dealt intensively with questions of drug and addiction policy for roughly ten years. In the 18th electoral term (2013-2017) he was a member of the German Bundestag and represented his parliamentary group as a full member of the Health Committee, the Culture and Media Committee and the Budget Committee. Mr. Blienert was his group’s rapporteur on drug and addiction issues during this period.
Since 1990, Mr. Blienert has been a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). He has worked for the SPD party executive committee and served as policy officer of the SPD group in the Land parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, responsible for school and education, sports and petitions.
As a member of the German Bundestag, Blienert sat on the Board of Trustees of the Federal Agency for Civic Education (BpB), on the Administrative Council of the German National Library and the Hörfunkrat Deutschlandradio Broadcasting Council, as well as on the Administrative Council of the German Federal Film Board (FFA).
Currently, he is a member of the Supervisory Board of the Federal Cultural Federation, the National Society of Labour Welfare (AWO), the United Services Union, the association “Against Oblivion—For Democracy” of the German Thomas Mann Society as well as the Paderborn district council.
History in the Making
Commissioner Blienert is not new to ICBC. Last year, he participated in a truly historic panel in which, for the first time ever, representatives from every major political party in Germany took part in a cannabis-only policy discussion. The discussion was held mere weeks before the 2021 election.
Much of what was discussed at the 2021 ICBC panel has since become part of the mainstream cannabis policy conversation in Germany. The ICBC team is looking forward to continuing the cannabis conversation at this year’s B2B event in July where the schedule will once again feature several policymakers who are directly involved in the effort to legalize cannabis in Germany. Attendees can expect to receive the most up-to-date information on what’s happening in Germany directly from people involved in the process, including Germany’s current Drug Czar.
In addition to the Berlin B2B event, the International Cannabis Business Conference will also offer a one-day Global Investment Forum (GIF) on July 18. The ICBC Global Investment Forum in Berlin will feature hand-picked cannabis companies participating in a pitch session in front of top investors on the ICBC Main Stage.
A cannabis industry revolution is sweeping Europe, and Germany is at the center of it.