As the dust settled on the 2021 federal election in Germany, excitement among cannabis enthusiasts erupted — with good reason.
Before the election late last year, members of what would become the governing coalition expressed a desire to legalize cannabis in Germany. Many of them spoke at the International Business Conference in Berlin just weeks before the election.
Since that time, lawmakers have worked to craft a legalization measure. How long the political process will take is currently unknown. But, legalization is inevitable in Germany.
Once legal adult-use sales launch in Europe’s largest cannabis market, cannabis retail logistics will undergo a massive revolution.
Part of the revolution will occur due to German ingenuity. It’s no secret that Germany is an international leader when it comes to innovation, which will spread to the cannabis industry.
Another reason cannabis retail logistics will undergo a revolution is out of necessity. Once Germany’s adult-use industry is launched, it will instantly become the largest national adult-use market on Earth.
At the time of this writing, the only two countries where adult-use sales are legal at a national level are Uruguay and Canada. In Uruguay, sales are limited to residents only.
That means the only comparator will be Canada, and it doesn’t take much digging to realize Germany is much larger than Canada in terms of cannabis industry potential.
Germany is set to sell literally tons of cannabis, and there is no ceiling to the industry’s potential. Unlike Canada, bordered by states in the U.S. that already sell cannabis, Germany will be an adult-use oasis for the entire continent, at least at first.
It’s a safe bet that Germany will sell more products than any other market. Demand will require licensed outlets to be as efficient as possible when storing and retrieving inventory.
We have already seen an example of the cannabis retail revolution brewing in Germany in the form of the Cannastore, which debuted at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin in July.
It is the first automated dispensing system designed for cannabis products. The Cannastore can dispense products within six to 12 seconds and hold up to 40,000 units before restocking.
As the world transitions from failed cannabis prohibition policies to sensible cannabis legislation, more markets will launch.
The old-fashioned dispensing methods of retrieving units from the backroom, manually weighing products, and packing them one at a time will soon prove too inefficient.
That, in turn, creates opportunities for innovation. Germany will likely serve as a cannabis industry innovation hub, just as it is for other large global industries.
This article was first published in Volume 4 Issue 3 of Cannabis & Tech Today. Read the full issue here.