Published on December 18, 2023 by Wrick Macaya Papa, EUCannaJobs
Fabian Baumann, CEO of Cantura Organics CBD and the Cantura Cannabis Club, is a leading German Expert in the field of Cannabis. Besides Cannabis he is a startup enthusiast and has not only founded Cantura but also a local startup hub near the Bavarian Alps called Lechvalley. Being also an accelerator coach, he supports other Startups on their way to growth.
What are Cannabis Social Clubs?
Cannabis social clubs are community-oriented establishments that provide a legal and controlled environment for people to cultivate, consume, and socialize with cannabis. Members of these clubs typically participate to the production of cannabis plants and share the harvest. The fundamental distinction is that cultivation and use take place within the club, encouraging responsible and community use of the substance.
In this in-depth EUCannaJobs interview with Fabian, we look at the present state of cannabis legalization in Germany and anticipate the much-anticipated milestones, such as when customers will be able to buy legal cannabis through social clubs. We delve into the nuances of the German Cannabis Act and the things permitted for sale, from concerns about the trustworthiness of cannabis social clubs to parallels with Spain's pioneering approach.
What is the actual status of the Legalization in Germany? When can consumers buy their first legal cannabis?
As of today, the parliament stated that it intends to pass the law by the beginning of January 2024. This would indicate, that the law's implementation will be on 01.04.2023. Cannabis Clubs will be allowed to sell their first Cannabis to its members starting at 01.07.2023. So, it really is in the final and we are all looking forward to it.
The cannabis industry somehow attracts shady people. How can interested parties be sure that they have found a reputable cannabis club?
I believe it is important to ensure that the club is very transparent to the outside world. This includes, in particular, who heads the club as a board member, that the statutes are publicly accessible, and that the membership fee regulations are understandable and accessible. Conversely, I would be wary of cannabis clubs that do not have a website and operate in a rather opaque manner.
There have been cannabis social clubs like this in Spain for some time now. How do they differ from those planned in Germany?
Yes, that's right, Spain was a pioneer for Germany here. I think the biggest difference is that there is no real national legalization in Spain, only a kind of toleration and it differs in the federal states. As a result, the cannabis social clubs in Spain tend to operate in a legal gray area. In Germany, on the other hand, the clubs and their activities are regulated by the Cannabis Act.
What products will be sold in a cannabis club?
As things stand at present, only flowers, so-called buds, and hashish will be permitted. However, there is still disagreement within the coalition. Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir in particular would also like to allow edibles, i.e. cookies, gummies, or even chocolate containing cannabis. Federal Health Minister Lauterbach, on the other hand, is strictly opposed to such products.
Who are cannabis clubs for?
That's the wonderful thing, the cannabis social clubs are for everyone. For interested people, for consumers, and patients. For the first time, the clubs give people the freedom to decide on their own consumption. They can decide which club they want to be a member of, which strains they want to buy, and also which THC or CBD levels they are most comfortable with.
I can therefore only encourage anyone curious to contact a cannabis club and see how this might suit them.
What concept are you pursuing with your Cantura Cannabis Club?
A few years ago, we established one of the leading cannabis brands in Germany under the Cantura brand. Our brand promise is always the same: Natural health with the power of hemp. We aim to provide our members and cannabis patients with the best cannabis for their mental and physical well-being. We are also particularly proud that we have many female members in our ranks and are happy to welcome anyone who would like to become a member.
How do international investors perceive the market opportunity at the moment?
From what I observe, they are for now rather hesitant, but observe very closely what is happening with the German Cannabis Act. I am sure that once it has finally passed the German Parliament, many will make their move.
You have started with CBD and will now move into THC, how does the business differ and what are potential synergies?
I see three advantages that only the ones already acting in the Cannabis / CBD Space have. First, we understand Cannabinoids and what people use them. Second, we know how to operate a Cannabis company, which is different from any other business due to the strict regulations and hurdles. Last, we already have an infrastructure that we can make use of. Moving into Recreational Cannabis via a Cannabis Club is highly cost-intensive and for private persons hard to cover.
You are based in Munich, the hosting city of the famous Oktoberfest. How does society react to the planned Cannabis legalization?
Munich is somehow an island within the very conservative Bavaria. Our Federal Government, the Conservative Party CSU is strictly against it, but Munich is governed by the Socialist and Green Party, who are in favor. So, being a Munich citizen I observe that most of us are looking forward to the legalization. Besides that, Munich has offered to participate as a pilot project city for commercial Cannabis Stores. This will hopefully be our next move then.