Cannabis on prescription: G-BA regulates prescription of medical cannabis

News 4

On 16 March 2023, the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) decided on new detailed regulations for the medical prescription of medical cannabis as a benefit of the statutory health insurance. According to these, in future not only - as previously considered - specialists may prescribe cannabis, but also general practitioners without additional requirements.


The impartial chairman of the G-BA, Prof. Josef Hecken, announced in a press release on 16 March 2023: "Today we have decided on regulations that do not impose any additional requirements on the prescription of medicinal cannabis in the form of dried flowers or extracts that go beyond the statutory mandatory prescription requirements that are binding for the G-BA. In this way, we want to ensure patient care with this additional therapy option for serious illnesses in case of need."


The regulations found, which fully exploit the scope of action given to the G-BA by the legislator in § 31 paragraph 6 SGB V for the prescription of medicinal hemp, are intended to ensure good and legally secure care for patients with a serious illness.

The following applies in detail:

  1. Only the initial prescription of medicinal cannabis or a fundamental change in therapy requires approval by the health insurance fund - no new approvals need to be obtained for subsequent prescriptions, dose adjustments or a change to other dried flowers or extracts
  2. Only in justified exceptional cases may the initial authorisation be refused by the health insurance fund
  3. Prescription of cannabis in the course of specialised outpatient palliative care does not require authorisation
  4. In the case of general outpatient palliative care or the start of cannabis therapy in the course of inpatient treatment, the authorisation requirement remains - however, the health insurance funds must examine the application within a period of three days
  5. All physicians continue to be authorised to prescribe - there is no specialist requirement for the prescription of medical cannabis.


If the Federal Ministry of Health does not legally object to the decision and the G-BA publishes it in the Federal Gazette, it will enter into force.