The approval of 26 new medical marijuana grow operations has brought with it hope for economic recovery in Greece.
Greece approved 26 licences to grow marijuana for medical purposes, The National Herald, a New York-based newspaper for the Greek community, reported on Aug. 12.
A newly sworn-in government in Greece hopes the grow operations will revitalize the country’s economy, which is slowly recovering from the debt crisis a decade ago that led to three international bailouts totalling US$364.22 billion, the Herald reported.
Greece approved the licences for cultivation and processing, the U.K.-based cannabis publication, Prohibition Partners, reported on Aug. 9. Of the 72 applications, four were rejected and 42 others are still under review.
The Greek government legalized cannabis for medical use in 2017, and in March 2018, lifted a ban on growing and producing marijuana.
A government spokesperson told Prohibition Partners that they are “very excited about the possibilities of medicinal cannabis,” and the country is “seeking international investment.”
Canadian companies are among those international investors the Greek government is hoping to attract.
“There has been a change in government, but the new administration fully supports this type of initiative,” said Costas Vamvakas, owner and managing director of the Athens-based VK PREMIUM Business Consultants. “The country needs cash, and this is pure foreign direct investment. Ministers have told me explicitly they fully support the medicinal cannabis industry and will do everything to back it.”
Firms from Canada, Israel and the Netherlands will look to partner with Greek businesses, Vamvakas told Prohibition Partners.
Getting more foreign investment is a top priority for Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Herald reported.
Most of Europe’s medical cannabis comes from Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, Marijuana Business Daily reported in February 2019.
Greece’s first medical marijuana cultivation licences were awarded in November 2018 to Bioprocann SA and Biomecann, Greek City Times reported. Biomecann has 11 acres in the Larissa area and the operation is expected to create 51 jobs, the article noted.
Bioprocann’s 46 acres in Corinth will create an estimated 66 jobs, the Times reported, adding that Greek investors are part of the two companies, but the majority of stakeholders are international.
Greece approved 26 licences to grow marijuana for medical purposes.
Cultivation and production have been slow to start in Greece as businesses need three separate licences to start operations, Prohibition Partners indicated.
There is some confusion around THC production in Greece, it reported. “The market wants packaged dry flower, so expect a lot of high-THC production for medicinal use,” Vamvakas said. “The problem is there are some grey areas around THC production, and firms may require more explicit guidance from the government.”