In a major milestone for international markets, renowned Bay Area breeder Compound Genetics has partnered with Four 20 Pharma GmbH (Four Pharma), a leading producer and distributor of medical cannabis. This collaboration makes Four 20 Pharma the first German company to offer Compound’s illustrious line of cannabis flower to medical patients. Theirs is a unique arrangement, centering on Four 20 Pharma’s exclusive sourcing of the breeder’s original selections, also called the “elite clones.” The two highly specialized brands - one a global pioneer in genetics, the other responsible for establishing a “gold standard” of European medical cannabis production through hand-trimming and customization - are thrilled to join forces to expand plant-based education and products as Germany adjusts to its new legalization status.

Four 20 Pharma Launches Compound Genetics' Gastro Pop For German Medical Cannabis Patients

Node Labs founder Daniel Adler-Golden (left) and Four 20 Pharma Head of Cultivation Jan Wegner (right), celebrate the Compound Genetics x Four 20 Pharma partnership (C) Four 20 Pharma GmbH

Monday, July 1st marked the launch of Compound’s iconic Gastro Pop strain for German patients through the Four 20 Pharma collaboration. Cannabis connoisseurs in the country were also waiting eagerly for that date to allow Germany's first nonprofit “social clubs” to open membership, as permitted by the nation’s regulatory laws that took effect in April. But while Germany has laid some legal foundations for wider medical access, personal possession, and home cultivation of the plant, the landscape doesn’t resemble the more exploratory adult-use legalization that Americans might expect.

Jan Wegner, Four 20 Pharma’s Head of Cultivation, compares Germany’s cannabis laws to “California after Prop 215” - evoking the memory of the Golden State’s groundbreaking medical program that started in 1996. He sees the European cannabis industry as poised to grow rapidly through education and technological advances in medical use, particularly with Four 20 Pharma’s attention to testing and customization that results in top-drawer products. 

(C) Four 20 Pharma GmbH

What Makes Compound Genetics And Four 20 Pharma Good Partners?

It’s only fitting that Four 20 Pharma should partner with the California-based Compound and its laboratory arm Node Labs, which draws its extensive library of potent, flavor-rich strains from decades of expertise growing in the most competitive cannabis environments. With its origins over 20 years deep in the legacy space, Compound was officially incorporated in 2017 and has gone on to become one of the world’s most prestigious breeders. Beloved by connoisseurs, the brand has introduced popular cultivars including Apples and Bananas, Pavé, Jet Fuel Gelato, extensive collaborations with Wiz Khalifa’s Khalifa Kush, and other noteworthy strains launched in various countries. 

Wegner, who relocated from Germany to the Netherlands to pursue his passion for the plant more freely, fell in love with Compound’s genetics back in 2019. At the time, he was working with a different company and traveling to his first Emerald Cup competition in Mendocino County. There, he met Node Labs’ founder Daniel Adler-Golden and was introduced to the brand’s incredible catalogue. 

An avid home cultivator, Wegner fondly remembers that he took home the Compound seeds Adler-Golden gifted him that day “and I’ve been growing that strain [First Class Funk, a GMO x Jet Fuel Gelato cross] for three years. So for me to bring Compound to Germany now is more than just bringing a U.S. brand [there]. I can really stand behind the genetics and the strains they put out.”

With Four 20 Pharma also a part of the international Curaleaf group of cannabis producers, the company is positioned to introduce Compound’s flower to other developing markets in Europe over the next few years. Possibilities for expansion to Poland, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic are currently under consideration. 

Jan Wegner, Head of Cultivation at Four 20 Pharma (C) Four 20 Pharma GmbH

Four 20 Pharma's Jan Wegner Talks Partnership With Compound Genetics, Germany's Approach To Medical Cannabis, And Developing European Markets

Amid the excitement of the significant move for Germany’s industry, Honeysuckle caught up with Wegner for more insights on how the acclaimed breeder-producer pairing will impact the Continent’s fastest-growing cannabis sector.

HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: Germany announced what was framed as “adult-use legalization” in April, but in reality it’s more complicated than that. Can you explain what the regulatory situation is now?

JAN WEGNER: I would call it more decriminalization, because we allow processing and consumption, but no sales. You can grow for yourself; you’re allowed to have three plants in your house per adult person - so if you live with a couple of people together, you can have more plants. But we don’t have a commercial market. The medical market is really the only place where the consumer can get a product that is tested, that they know is safe. 

Of course, we all know homegrown [cannabis] can be very, very good, but you don’t know exactly what you’re getting. There’s no requirement for testing. Officially you’re not allowed to share with friends. You’re not allowed to sell anything. [But] on the medical side, cannabis is now not a narcotic anymore. You still need a prescription, but it’s not a narcotics prescription. So more doctors are feeling less pressured when they prescribe cannabis. Before, the narcotics prescription was very highly regulated and if the authorities thought that a doctor was giving [one] for recreational use, they could lose their license. There were not a lot of doctors [willing] to do it… they were very hesitant [because] of the stigma. 

We want the plant to be available for everybody, but a full recreational market is just not there, and I’m not sure if it will be in the next couple of years. [But what we do have in medical] is that once you have a prescription, you can get that online with a teleclinic. You don’t need to go to a physical doctor anymore, and then you can actually just order online and have the flower shipped to your house. So it’s very convenient… There are pharmacies with physical locations too, but a majority of the volume is done through [online ordering]. And of course the product is tested. You know exactly what kind of flower you’re getting, exactly what the THC levels and terpenes are. You have full [Certificates of Authority] for the flower, which is different from a market like the Netherlands, where you buy it in a coffee shop and nobody knows where the flower has been grown or what it contains. 

Why is Four 20 Pharma’s partnership with Compound so valuable for the development of Germany’s cannabis market?

Beyond my personal connection to Compound and Node Labs, the reason we wanted to work with them is because of their possibilities for selections and breeding [of strains]. Since we are in a medical framework, what doctors and patients need is more clarity about what the different genetics contain and which are helping them [treat] which illnesses. Now we have around 400 different strains on the market. The doctors often don’t know them because they’re not experts in cannabis. It’s actually a very patient-driven market. The value of the collaboration between Four 20 Pharma and Compound is that we can focus on a more customized approach for the patient. We can combine the science of breeding and selection with the feedback we have from doctors.

We get data from [various medical studies] that we can then use to provide more information to the team at Compound, and we can connect and bring to market the strains that people really need. It’s a good triangle because we have the cultivation part [with Four 20 Pharma], the genetics part [with Compound] and the sales part.

Inside Four 20 Pharma's cultivation center (C) Four 20 Pharma GmbH

As you develop the partnership, what qualities are you looking for in Compound’s different cultivars? What kind of effects do you see there being a big need for in the market?

Pain relief [for patients] is very, very important. We also have quite a lot of ADHD patients, so they need something that allows them to focus and [cuts down] their distraction. But pain relief is key for the majority of people. And then apart from purely medical measurable qualities, it’s the whole aroma. If you open a bag of flower and you really like the aroma, it’s more likely it’s going to help you. If you open it and it’s disgusting, then you switch and go to the next one. Each body is different, each endocannabinoid system is different. We need to have a variety, but we also try to have [strains] that can be combined. It’s very complex.

Why was Gastro Pop chosen as the first Compound strain to launch to German patients?

[We chose] Gastro Pop for [several] reasons. Its availability of course, because the cultivation already had a few genetics that we picked all at the same time. But the Gastro Pop has a very unique aroma profile and is testing pretty high in terpenes also… It’s 30 percent THC [and it has] the highest terpene content that we can bring to the medical market now, because the regulation is very tight. We have 3.15 percent terpenes on that batch.

Doctors and patients are still very focused on THC… That’s something that people look at, the values they can measure. Numbers don’t lie, but there’s more to it than just THC. [Gastro Pop] is the total package. It has good numbers, so people notice it in the list of several hundred strains, but also, once they try it, they find it has really good qualities. And for us, that profile complements our overall portfolio. The next ones [coming up] are Mellowz and Rose Gold Runtz, which also have completely different profiles. We wanted to reach the most amount of patients with something that [complemented] the whole portfolio. 

How are you handling the doctor and patient education aspects? In the U.S., we get so excited about adult use that it feels like that sometimes gets left out.

We have two different sales teams, with one being more for education that then results in sales as well. We focus on the pharmacies on one side, because that’s our direct customer, and on the other side we focus on doctors and healthcare professionals. Our team goes out to give educational advice; they do different events where they talk about medical cannabis. We also have a circle of experts that we host, where different doctors, pharmacists, and healthcare professionals from different areas get together [to talk about cannabis]. And we always invite people that have nothing to do [with the plant in their practice] so they can learn from the experience of their colleagues.

We do the same with patients. We have a patient committee that we host events with regularly, where we can get direct feedback from them. Under the regulations, we’re only allowed to talk to healthcare professionals, so it’s been very limited in terms of direct patient feedback, and we’ve needed to implement a framework where we can get that, together with the doctors. There’s a lot of work that has to be done… We also host rotary clubs and other different associations that we invite to our premises and show them the production area, how everything is packaged…  In the last six months, we had a camera crew join us in our day-to-day, and we explained all the steps that are taken [to produce medical cannabis from clone to harvest to patient access], in a professional GMP-certified facility where everything is clean. A lot of people still have [the stereotypes in mind with cannabis], but we surprise them. We do a lot of small things that in the end add up to a big impact.

(C) Four 20 Pharma GmbH

What is the German public’s overall attitude toward cannabis now?

Personally, I noticed a definite change when I went to Germany just a few weeks into April [of this year]. I was sitting outside in a cafe and felt different, like more relieved and calm. Every time I’d been there before, I felt like I had to watch over my shoulder - “Do I have something on me? Will I get checked by the police?” [Those risks] are generally gone now, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. A lot of people are open to explore, but a lot are also still very against it, especially in southern parts of Germany where the beer culture is more present, or where you have more right-wing [communities]. But we’re fighting back with education.

What techniques are you using in the cultivation to ensure high-quality flower?

[Four 20 Pharma] and Compound are very aligned on that. We only use “hang-dry” methods… We dry the full plant hanging down with a slow drying process that just preserves all the aroma compounds. And then we only work with cultivation partners, or in our own cultivation, where the flower is hand-trimmed. That’s the quality we want to deliver to the market. Having hand trim, it’s a hundred percent control on every flower, so if there is anything that doesn’t meet the criteria, we can sort it out. That is very important for us to preserve the full aroma of the genetics and make sure the customer gets only the best of the best. From a regulatory component, we don’t have pre-rolls [or] vape cartridges… There’s still a very rich tradition in Europe of hand-rolling your own joints, because of the history with Morocco and hashish, so a lot of people will do that. We do recommend a dry-herb vaporizer because that’s healthier than the combustion of a joint…. But for us, it’s A-grade flower, that’s it.

What are the next steps for developing European markets within the Four 20 Pharma x Compound partnership?

Last year we brought the first strain to Poland and we were there as the first quality brand. You had a few of the big Canadian medical companies that were already there on the market with very low-quality flower. What we saw is that the people appreciate good quality flower; it’s just the regulatory framework that is making it so difficult and taking such a long time to bring new genetics to that market. But that is definitely a good market. The UK [is] as well, but it’s a completely different system because you can be more vertically integrated, which we cannot be in Germany. They have the advantage of getting direct feedback from the patients, which is really nice. 

[There’s always an] advantage in being first movers, so if you are in [a market] as one of the first companies, that’s a good thing. Poland is a big market, actually bigger than I was expecting as well. And the same with the Czech Republic, where probably even more people consume cannabis culturally compared to Poland, maybe even compared to Germany. [That country] has a very strong legacy market that is well established, so you need a lot more education to convince people to go to the doctor to get a prescription, and then go to the pharmacy instead of buying from a friend who grows.

I think where we should head [in the European cannabis industry] is to have a more customized approach. We have to listen more to the doctors and patients, and have them all work together on that feedback to bring genetics to the market. That makes sense. Some companies bring to the market whatever is available, but we don’t want to follow that approach. As Four 20 Pharma, we build our name in the market by bringing consistent quality. And with a partner like Compound, that is so strong in the States already and developing genetics for all the big brands, it only makes sense to join forces with the best.

Compound Genetics’ Gastro Pop is now available in Germany through Four 20 Pharma. For more information, visit and

(C) Four 20 Pharma GmbH

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Four 20 Pharma

Jan Wegner

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Daniel Adler-Golden

Compound Genetics

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Lauren Avenius


Featured image: Node Labs founder Daniel Adler-Golden (left) and Four 20 Pharma Head of Cultivation Jan Wegner (right), celebrate the Compound Genetics x Four 20 Pharma partnership (C) Four 20 Pharma GmbH