International law firm Bird & Bird LLP has advised Aphria Deutschland GmbH on its tender for the cultivation, processing and delivery of cannabis for medical purposes. On 17 April, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) awarded Aphria several lots.
This procedure is seen as a blueprint for the liberalisation of the market for medicinal cannabis in Europe. In Canada – home to the parent company Aphria Inc. – cannabis is not subject to strict pharmaceutical standards. There, cannabis holds an intermediate status between food and medicine, which makes this proceeding a ground breaking precedent.
The concepts for the cultivation and processing of medicinal cannabis had to be redesigned in accordance with German legislation around drugs and narcotics, public procurement law and optimised for the distribution of lots.
For Aphria Germany's managing director Hendrik Knopp the decision of the BfArM is confirmation of "the consistent alignment of the company and our processes with a science and evidence based cannabis medicine from the plant cultivation to the pharmaceutical production".
Due to its extensive cross-sector expertise, Bird & Bird is one of the first firms to be able to provide legal advice in the area of medicinal cannabis. The Bird & Bird team advising Aphria Deutschland GmbH was led by partners Niels Lutzhöft (Pharmaceutical Law) and Alexander Csaki (Public Procurement) who were assisted by partners Kai Kerger (Corporate), Dirk Barcaba (Real Estate), both Frankfurt, Matthias Lang (Environmental law, Düsseldorf), Barbara Geck (Employment), Matthias Winter (Finance), both Frankfurt, Felix Rödiger (IP/ Plant-breeding Law, Düsseldorf), counsel Martin Conrads (Public Procurement, Hamburg) and Elie Kaufman(Real Estate, Frankfurt) and associates Sandra Krüger (Public Procurement, Munich), Christoph Hendel (Pharmaceutical Law, Düsseldorf), Ferdinand Weis (Pharmaceutical Law, Frankfurt), Stanislav Schmidt (Finance, Frankfurt), Sebastian Fuchs (IP, Düsseldorf) and Stefanie Kremer (Environmental Law, Düsseldorf).