Five consortiums with investment plans to cultivate cannabis for medical use, adding up to over 1 billion euros on paper, have already knocked on the door of Deputy Economy Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas.
A few days ago the Greek Parliament approved the law for the production, manufacturing and sale of medical products containing cannabis, paving the way for attracting investment in a new and largely misunderstood activity. It remains to be seen whether the initial strong interest transforms into actual investment and whether the interested parties are long-term rather than short-term investors. In general, developments will depend on the speed of the issue of the necessary secondary legislation and its content.
Among the parties interested in the cultivation of medical cannabis in Greece are two of the world’s biggest companies in the sector, both from Canada: They are Aphria and Canopy Growth. The former plans in the next four years to develop 92,000 square meters of greenhouses with a production capacity of more than 100 tons, creating up to 500 jobs until 2021. The latter wants to invest over 50 million euros, initially for the creation of 50,000 sq.m. that will gradually expand to 100,000 sq.m. of cultivation, which is seen opening up between 500 and 1,000 jobs.
Golden Greece Cannabis intends to grow cannabis on a 1-square kilometer plot at Naoussa, west of Thessaloniki, and also foresees the construction of a plant to process and produce pharmaceutical products, for a total investment that will start from 400 million and exceed 1 billion euros after two years.
Shanghai-based Europacific Medical has a 20-million-euro investment plan for Greece, as does HAPA Medical Holdings BV, based in the Netherlands.
Medical cannabis entails high heating costs, so Greece’s warm weather offers the country a comparative advantage for such investments.