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Cannabis Legalization in Greece Creates Business Opportunities

The cultivation and production of industrial cannabis became legal in 2016 after a joint ministerial decision between the Ministries of Health and Finance. The decision established the terms and conditions for the cultivation of industrial cannabis.

According to the legislation, cannabis producers are required to obtain pre-authorization before they plant, and must also obtain and use cannabis seeds which meet certain criteria.

Health Minister Andreas Xanthos, Economy and Development Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas and Deputy Minister of Agricultural Development Vassilis Kokkalis announced that the fourteen licenses are expected to create about 770 jobs.

The new legislation is also expected to create approximately €185 million ($214 million) in investment capital.

The first two recipients of the cannabis production licenses are Corinth-based BIOPROCANN S.A. and Larissa-based BIOMECΑΝΝ S.A. According to Minister Pitsiorlas, these first two investments alone amount to € 22 million ($26 million) and are expected to create 117 jobs.

In an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, general director Dionysis Sarmazanidis said Cannatec Greece, a subsidiary of Golden Greece Holdings, will also have processing facilities go into operation by the end of 2019.

Cannatec’s first processing plant would be based in Kilkis, and European companies have already agreed on the sale of its products. The total investment for the processing of industrial hemp and pharmaceutical cannabis will amount to at least € 255 million, Sarmazanidis said.

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