Greece awarded its first marijuana grow licenses to two privately owned companies, opening cultivation and ancillary opportunities to international and domestic medical cannabis companies.
Already, companies are lining up to pump more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) into the country’s burgeoning MMJ sector to tap future European demand for the product.
Bioprocann S.A. – one of the companies awarded a license – intends to cultivate in a 21,500-square-foot indoor area and 64,500 square feet of greenhouse space.
“Exporting is definitely part of our current vision and our strategic approach,” Nikolas Onoufriadis, a principal at Bioprocann, told Marijuana Business Daily.
Greece’s current legal framework allows for exports so long as the receiving country holds the necessary import license.
The Greek Legislature approved core legislation for medical cannabis in March 2018. A joint ministerial decision later defined the application process and facility requirements, while the Ministry of Health outlined the market authorization process.
All that’s missing now is how patients and hospitals will have access.
Cannabis will be downgraded from a Table A to a Table B substance, meaning cannabis will be recognized as a drug that has accepted medical use in the treatment of certain conditions, according to the Prohibition Partners’ European Cannabis Report.
The health minister said those conditions will include chronic pain, neuropathic pain, nausea caused by chemotherapy and some eating disorders.
“The impact that medical cannabis could have on Greece’s struggling economy could be substantial,” the report stated.
“If Greece were to benefit from medical cannabis to the same extent as other countries that have introduced medical cannabis, it could inject up to 2 billion euros into the economy.”
Twelve more licenses will be issued by the end of this year, the Greek Economy and Development Ministry said, according to Reuters.
Deputy Economy Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas said there is significant interest in the country’s medical cannabis market from companies in Canada and Israel.
Interested companies include Leamington, Ontario-based Aphria, a Canadian company that already has expressed interest in the Greek market.
Matt Lamers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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