July 23, 2021 5 minutes to read
The opinions of entrepreneurs’ contributors are their own.
Germany is not only in the heart of Europe, but also in the heart of the European cannabis landscape. The medical cannabis market in Germany is booming, towering over other European cannabis markets, with new research and laws paving the way for potentially immensely beneficial medical cannabis therapies. Although this market segment is still in its infancy, its future looks very bright.
According to Prohibition Partners, over a million German patients will have access to medical cannabis by 2024. In addition, the medical cannabis market alone is expected to be worth around 7.7 billion euros by 2028. However, there is still some stigma surrounding cannabis.
Unfortunately, this stigma prevents many sick patients from gaining access to medical cannabis when it might help them. With the public debate on recreational marijuana hanging and legislation slow to change, much potential to help patients remains on the table. Pia Marten, who previously worked in the renewable energy sector and gained experience in running a company, recognized the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis and decided to act.
“I want to make a positive contribution, to work on something meaningful […] For me, sustainability, future potential and quality of life are the keywords that connect medical cannabis and regenerative energies. Sustainable cultivation is very important to me. We are the first company to bring sustainably produced medical cannabis to Germany, ”said Marten in an interview with krautinvest.de.
Sustainability meets medical cannabis
Through her work in the field of renewable energies, Marten has been concerned with sustainability for a long time. Therefore, Marten took a different approach to medical cannabis than the competition. Equipped with her experience and expertise from past companies, she founded Cannovum AG in 2019 together with Marius Koose, who has many years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Cannovum is a fully licensed pharmaceutical wholesaler, importer and manufacturer of high quality medical cannabis with the aim of providing patients in Germany and Europe with their own sustainable brand for medical cannabis.
However, the legal and pharmaceutical framework conditions for the trade in medical cannabis in Germany are known to be very strict in order to protect patients. Since this applies to both wholesalers such as Cannovum and the producers, the company had to select its producer according to extremely strict specifications and check compliance with all specifications on site.
Fortunately, this grueling process has paid off. Now, just two years after it was founded, Cannovum is the first German medical cannabis company to be listed on the stock exchange. This makes 30-year-old Pia Marten the youngest female CEO to have a company listed on a German stock exchange.
“We want to provide medical cannabis for patients in Germany and Europe. My drive for this company is the need to improve patient access to cannabis-based therapy and improve patients’ lives. There is a lot of stigma and misunderstanding around medical cannabis and I want to change that. Being the founder and CEO in such a new and up-and-coming industry puts me in a unique position: every day I have the opportunity to expand the industry further, ”said Marten.
Cannovum will be the first company to make sustainably grown medical cannabis free of chemical pesticides, both grown in sunlight and matured, available on the German market. However, because medical cannabis has a systemic problem, bringing more high quality products to market will not really solve the underlying problems.
Empowering healthcare professionals and disseminating information
Pharmacists and doctors are the pioneers of cannabis-based therapies. Unfortunately, however, medical cannabis is still rarely part of medical and pharmaceutical training, which requires additional training for healthcare professionals. As a result, doctors are currently the bottleneck. There are far too many patients in need of medical cannabis and not nearly enough doctors who prescribe and are trained to use cannabis.
“I think one thing we need to improve is to increase patient access to cannabis-based therapies. Unfortunately, the endocannabinoid system and cannabis are rarely part of medical and pharmaceutical education. We want to support them in caring for their patients by providing comprehensive information on cannabinoid drugs and therapies, ”added Marten.
In an effort to make an impactful difference, Marten set out not only to make medical cannabis available to patients, but to build a platform that provides medical education to address the root of the problem. To make this possible, Cannovum has set up a medical advisory board made up of experts and pioneers in cannabis therapy. Head of the Medical Advisory Board is Dr. med. Dipl.-Chem. Konrad F. Cimander, expert in addiction medicine, infectious diseases and cannabis therapy.
The medical consultants from Cannovum are also contributing their wealth of knowledge to the current project: setting up a virtual training platform for medical professionals to make access to information even easier. Cannovum already offers free, tailor-made workshops including advanced training for pharmacists and doctors to support them in caring for their patients.