The government of Greece gives new boost to medical cannabis with the granting of 26 cultivation and processing licenses
The government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis believes that the 26 new licenses for the cultivation and processing of medical cannabis will give new impetus to medical cannabis in Greece. It is estimated that the new licenses will involve an investment close to 360 million euros and will generate up to 2250 new jobs, a very respectable figure in the country with the highest unemployment rate in the euro zone. But precisely the high level of unemployment and low wages in the country make Greece an attractive place for investment by foreign companies in the medical cannabis industry.
So far, 72 applications have been submitted. Four applications have been officially rejected and another 42 cases have yet to be studied. Although, for the moment, no company has managed to exceed the requirements required to obtain the 3 licenses required by the government to start growing cannabis, the administration of Kyriakos Mitsotakis is optimistic and believes that companies could be operating at one hundred percent within 12 months or less.
Costas Vamvakas, managing director of the VK PREMIUM consulting group, has told the media that although there has been a change of government, the new Mitsotakis administration is completely in favor of the initiative and that the country is seeking international investment from companies in the medical cannabis industry. According to Vamvakas, Greece needs money from foreign investment from companies operating within the medical marijuana industry. He is also said that all Kyriakos Mitsotakis government ministers have assured him that they fully support this new boost to medical cannabis industry in Greece and that they will do everything possible to support it.
Vamvakas also said he estimated that foreign investment would increase because companies in the medical cannabis industry in Canada, Israel and the Netherlands want to partner with local Greek companies. Vamvakas said that the international medical cannabis market demands from Greece the production of dried flowers. The expert expects Greece to produce flowers with high THC and CBD content for medicinal use. The biggest problem is that there are conflict zones around the production of THC, and companies need a more concrete orientation from the Greek government.
A study carried out by the Prohibition Partners organization estimates that the European cannabis market could be worth up to 123 billion Euros by 2028. Greece has the ideal climate for outdoor cannabis cultivation and wants to be one of the leading producers of medical marijuana in Europe.
Greece legalized the use of medical cannabis in 2017, and in March 2018 repealed the ban on cultivation and production. But any company that wants to open a medical cannabis store has to obtain the 3 different licenses that the Hellenic government demands. The first thing is to establish a Greek company to buy or lease the land, and then the company has to complete the documentation required for the installation license.
The documentation includes the selection of a suitable land to build an installation. Once the bureaucratic requirements have been met, the company can now apply for an operations license and a medical license, which are obtained through the approval of the National Medicines Organization. The General Secretariat of Industry has published details of 14 licenses in the Government Gazette, which are available for any company that wants to know in depth the necessary requirements to be part of the new medical cannabis industry in Greece.
Many financial analysts believe that the cannabis industry can help Greece recover from the 2009 national debt crisis. Stergios Pitsiorlas, former deputy minister of Economy, told the media last year that medical cannabis can have a huge impact on the precarious economy of Greece.
According to a study by The European Cannabis Report, by 2028, the Greek national medical cannabis industry could be worth 2 billion Euros. Although cannabis liberalization in Greece began with the old Syriza government, the industry has continued to grow with the new government as the country positions itself to reap the benefits of the growing demand for medical cannabis throughout Europe.
The granting of another 26 cultivation and processing licenses is a clear indication that a new boost to medical cannabis is being produced in Greece.