Greek parliamentarians start debating draft medical marijuana law

Greek lawmakers had their first opportunity to debate a draft bill to legalize medical cannabis production that was submitted to Parliament on Feb. 7.

The draft law was taken up by the Committee on Production and Trade and the Committee on Social Affairs.

Greece’s government has said it wants to fast-track plans to foster a domestic medical cannabis industry to revive its national economy, which has stagnated or contracted for much of the past decade.

The government agreed to make cannabis available for medical purposes last year but has relied on imports in lieu of a legal framework for domestic cultivation.

Investors, meanwhile, are making plans to pump billions of dollars into Greece’s medical marijuana market to construct greenhouses for growing and manufacturing.

Among the Canadian companies with a potential interest in Greece is Leamington, Ontario-based Aphria, which participated in an exploratory meeting with stakeholders in Xanthi, northeastern Greece, recently, according to the ERT news website.

Hearings in the Greek parliament are scheduled to continue next week.

On Feb. 22, the chairman of the Production and Trade committee extended an invitation to former Prime Minister George Papandreou to address the elected representatives.

The former prime minister was one of the first politicians in Greece to call for the legalization of medical cannabis.

Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]

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