Germany Country Drug Report 2018

Drug markets

In Germany, the domestic production of illicit substances is linked to cannabis and some synthetic stimulants. Cannabis is cultivated outdoors and indoors, and a steady increase in the total quantities of cannabis plants seized was observed until 2015, with numbers falling in 2016. Cannabis products with various origins are widely trafficked through the country and they remain the most frequently seized substances. Herbal cannabis seized in Germany mainly originates from the Netherlands, Spain and Serbia and is usually destined for the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, while cannabis resin primarily originates from Morocco and is usually intended for other EU countries.

The synthetic stimulant market, which is partly supplied by domestic production, is complex. The methamphetamine market has experienced a major expansion in the eastern regions of the country in recent years. Domestic production of synthetic stimulants has been in the spotlight because of the increase in the number of laboratories producing these substances that were dismantled between 2010 and 2012. However, in recent years, the number of dismantled laboratories has steadily fallen. The Netherlands and, to a much smaller extent, the Czech Republic remain the main producing countries for synthetic drugs such as amphetamine and its derivatives.

The Netherlands remains the main supplier of the MDMA/ecstasy that is seized in Germany, and the most recent data indicate that it has made a comeback in the market, following a decline in seizures between 2006 and 2010. There are signs that in recent years Germany has been used a transit country for MDMA trafficking to Turkey.

Heroin, usually originating from Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iran, is smuggled from neighbouring countries. The quantity of heroin seized shows significant annual variations. In the most recent years, the quantity of heroin seized annually has on average been lower than it was 10 years ago.

Cocaine seized in Germany mainly originates in South America and enters Germany through other European countries. Seizures of cocaine have fallen by about 40 % compared with the previous year, amounting to just under 2 tonnes in 2016.

Drug supply reduction activities in Germany are driven by the objectives set by the individual Länder and depend largely on local conditions. In general, the activities aim to prevent illegal cultivation or production and trafficking of illicit substances, including new psychoactive substances, with the main focus on organised crime groups and money laundering.

Germany reports median potency (% of THC) or purity (% or mg per tablet) and average prices for the main illicit drugs. The median potency for cannabis resin in 2016 was 14 % THC, for ‘skunk’ it was 12.8 % THC, while for herbal cannabis 2.4 % THC was recorded. The median purity for heroin was reported to be 19.3 %, cocaine 74.9 % (both at retail level), amphetamine 13.8 % and MDMA 115 mg per tablet. The mean price of cannabis resin was EUR 8.6/g, herbal cannabis EUR 10/g, heroin EUR 47.5/g, cocaine EUR 75.8/g and amphetamine EUR 11.8/g. The mean price for one MDMA tablet was EUR 7.8.


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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.