Guest post by Marguerite Arnold
Greek authorities are currently considering twenty eight separate international investment proposals to grow both medical and industrial cannabis with a total project value of over 350 million euros. Two of these proposals have been approved so far, two have already been rejected and the remaining 26 are still pending. The two approved projects were submitted last November and have a combined project value of 22 million euros.
The project partners for the pending projects hail from all over the world and include groups from not only Europe, but Israel, Canada and even Saudi Arabia. The two rejected applications came from a company that is no longer in business and one that did not fill out the required questionnaire.
If every outstanding proposal is approved (and most have been submitted since last November), they would require 110 hectares of grow space although the proposals are for sites spread out across the country.
Greece is one of the few European countries which has so far officially opened its arms to the cannabis industry as a source of both jobs and tax revenue.
The Beginning of Medical Tourism?
The Greek cannabis market is intriguing for several reasons. Not only is much of this product being slated for export to the rest of pharmaceutical Europe, but there is a booming tourist industry here already. For this reason, the medical tourist market here is expected to be one of Europe’s if not the world’s hottest in years to come.
The concept of “medical tourism” has not caught on in Europe, yet. simply because until now there was no need for it. Drugs are accepted across the Union. However, cannabis might well disrupt the tourist industry in Europe as it has in other verticals.
Wellness and Cannabis – The Greek “Club Med?”
The concept of wellness as a “lifestyle” is a concept that is also well suited to the introduction of medical cannabis. While this is a concept that has remained so far mostly North American, there are signs that this idea too is jumping the Atlantic. So far, this has been concentrated mostly on the CBD side of the conversation because THC has remained strictly “medical” in the sense that it requires a prescription to be dispensed here.
However, a “Greek Barcelona” is already in the offing. Greek cannabis Club Meds that require a prescription and a passport may still be a thing of the future, but not by much.
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About the author:
Marguerite Arnold is a veteran “cannabis foreign correspondent” and IT geek who has reported on the industry for five years from Europe while developing a regulated blockchain platform called MedPayRx for the approval of prescriptions and insurance claims in the EU – including medical cannabis.