Clever Leaves obtains cannabis cultivation license in Portugal

Clever Leaves, a multinational cannabis company with its main operations in Colombia, said Thursday it obtained a “license to cultivate, sell and export medical cannabis” in Portugal.

Clever Leaves said the license it received from Infarmed – the Portuguese health authority – is “provisional” because the facility has not been physically inspected because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the license “gives Clever Leaves Portugal the same rights and qualifications as the definitive license,” which is expected soon, according to a news release.

The provisional license should not be confused with the so-called Portuguese “prelicense,” something Clever Leaves – and many other companies – already possessed.

Prelicenses come in the form of a letter from Infarmed, verifying that paperwork submitted is “documentarily fit” to obtain a license. (It would be better described as a letter of documentary conformity.)

In its release, the company said that “prior to the granting of this (provisional) license,” it “had a prelicense which demonstrated that it had met the administrative requirements to proceed in the licensing process.”

The company was granted authorization “to import genetics and was also allowed to engage in test cultivation” before it obtained the provisional license.

Clever Leaves said it expects to be the ninth fully licensed medical cannabis cultivator in Portugal.

As of Aug. 26, the Portuguese health authority website listed only the following six companies as having a cannabis cultivation license:

  • RPK Biopharma, located in the Lisbon district, is owned by Holigen, a subsidiary of Flowr.
  • Terra Verde, in the Lisbon district, is a subsidiary of London-based Emmac Life Sciences.
  • Tilray Portugal, in the Coimbra district, is a subsidiary of Tilray.
  • Sabores Púrpura, in the Coimbra district.
  • VF 1883, in the Porto district.
  • Sababa Portugal, in the Portalegre district.

Portugal was in the news earlier this year when Marijuana Business Daily uncovered and reported a huge shipment of high-THC flower that was quietly shipped from Uruguay toward the end of 2019.

Fotmer was the exporting company, but the Portuguese importer is not known.

MJBizDaily later reported a second, even larger, shipment from Uruguay – again without disclosing the importer.

All Portuguese licensed producers – with the exception of Tilray – clearly denied being involved with the import. Tilray neither confirmed nor denied any involvement.

The final destination of the flower remains a mystery. None of the medical cannabis flower has been sold to patients in Portugal.

Clever Leaves is expected to start trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol CLVR before the end of the year.

Alfredo Pascual can be reached at