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Medical cannabis

Denmark is building Europe’s leading ecosystem for medical cannabis

Medical cannabis is an emerging subject that offers new research opportunities, economic benefits, and potential treatment for patients. Since the launch of the Danish medical cannabis pilot program on 1 January 2018, the Danish ecosystem has attracted significant international investment, partnerships, and attention from researchers. 

Patients and their doctors are actively exploring ways of incorporating medical cannabis into treatment options, while academic and clinical researchers are exploring the efficacy of medical cannabis to treat a range of conditions for which there is initial evidence of potential benefits. 

It should be noted that doctors and patients are able to access cannabis products through the pilot program, but also through magistral preparations at specialised pharmacies and through pharmaceutical approved products.

Medical cannabis pilot programme

Read more about the medical cannabis pilot programme 

Dynamic cultivation of medical cannabis under the development scheme

In January 2018, the Danish government implemented a four-year medical cannabis pilot programme along with a special development scheme that provides licenses to grow and handle cannabis to develop medical cannabis based products. The government passed a subsequent motion to allow bulk exports of medical cannabis. 
Denmark is an international powerhouse in the pharma and advanced agriculture sector and has a well-established framework for public-private partnerships in research. The Danish medical cannabis model is based on integration across the entire ecosystem. 
Several of the largest companies in the industry have already set up in Denmark through joint ventures with Danish partners, based on strong but transparent regulations, availability of expertise and experience from both the pharma and horticulture sectors, strong commitment to innovation, sustainability, and cutting edge automated production methods, and opportunities for growth in the Danish and European markets. 
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Denmark uses an open-ended system with no limits on the number of cultivators as long as high standards are maintained, no caps on production volumes, and straight-forward first authorization to handle and cultivate medical cannabis. 

This allows companies to set up quickly while innovating and developing sustainable cultivation techniques and business models. As of mid-2020, over 40 companies have been granted permission to cultivate and handle medical cannabis as long as high standards of quality are maintained. 

Denmark is on track to be one of the world’s largest GACP cultivation nations with more than 200,000 square meters/3 million SQF of cultivation on its way to being built out, all based on high standards of GMP and GACP frameworks. 

Read more about the strengths of the Danish framework for the cultivation of medical cannabis

For information on entering the Danish and European market through the Development Scheme, please refer to the Danish Medicines Agency website

Top reason for choosing Denmark for medical cannabis activities 

  • Attractive framework conditions with strong government support for medical cannabis and a transparent regulatory regime.

  • Strong domestic medical cannabis ecosystem, with close collaboration across all parts of the value chain, from plant to patient.

  • Access to expertise in pharma production including availability of expertise in developing GMP compliant facilities and processes.

  • Proximity to main EU markets including Germany with excellent infrastructure for exports and transport.

  • Strong plant genetics and breeding ecosystem.

  • A well-funded healthcare system offering partial reimbursement for medical cannabis based products and an efficient retail pharmacy network for product distribution.

  • No medical cannabis production cap or quotas.

  • Access to reliable green power at a low cost.

  • Skilled horticulture and manufacturing labour force, with training modules available to reinforce skills specific to the production of medical cannabis.

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