Denmark destroyed more than 145 tonnes of medical cannabis in 5 years

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Much of the medical cannabis produced as part of the Danish medical cannabis experiment was not placed on the market and was intentionally destroyed for various reasons, according to government data relayed by MJBizDaily.

Just over 300 permits were issued for the destruction of 145,541 kilograms of cannabis, the Danish Parliament’s Health Committee said in a response to a parliamentary inquiry earlier this year.

This figure includes all cannabis destroyed by businesses licensed to grow cannabis – under the country’s pilot program – from the date those businesses were granted permission to operate, a spokesperson for the government to MJBizDaily via email.

The amount of legal cannabis destroyed under Denmark’s medical pilot program, initiated in 2018, has exceeded the total cannabis production reported by the country to global drug regulators.

A list of companies currently authorized to manufacture bulk cannabis and primary products is available here (Excel file). This list includes Canadian company Aurora Cannabis and Australian company Little Green Pharma, as well as Medican, a medical cannabis production company headquartered in Helsinge, Denmark.

What led to the destruction

Various reasons can lead to the destruction of production: poor quality, regulatory factors or insufficient demand…

“As our destruction procedures are not specific to the purpose or origin of cultivation, the quantity destroyed may include cannabis grown for the pilot program, imported for the pilot program as well as cannabis grown under the development, the spokesperson for the Danish Medicines Agency told MJBizDaily.

Although the government cannot say why the cannabis was destroyed, the response to the parliamentary inquiry says the destruction figure could include faulty or discarded products and all cannabis grown under the development programme, which allows companies to grow medical cannabis so they can perfect their growing and manufacturing methods and be allowed to participate in the national pilot program.

The Danish Medicines Agency reported that for 2022, ‘lost or destroyed’ cannabis amounted to 10,753 kilograms – an amount that does not include cannabis destroyed under the development programme.

Last year, Danish companies recorded sales of around 62.5 million crowns, or just over 8 million euros.

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