Following the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes, Portugal had the same issue as many European countries which are now starting to change their laws regarding cannabis: it had no national production, no market value, and no clear support from medical authorities to start developing this business.
However, due to recent changes and the endorsement of national cannabis production by the Portuguese National Authority of Medicines and Health Products, INFARMED, this is about to change.
Last week, the Canadian company Tilray, specialized in cannabis cultivation, processing, distribution, and research, opened the doors of Portugal’s very first medical cannabis plantation farm, to public visitors.
Located in the Portuguese city of Cantanhede, the construction of this site cost €20 million by the Canadian corporation and allowed for the creation of 200 new jobs in central Portugal.
Currently, Tilray is the only company licensed by the Portuguese government and INFARMED to legally produce cannabis in national soil, and solely for posterior medical use.
According to the Reuters agency, Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Tilray, visited many places in Europe before deciding to build the production facilities in Portugal. As stated by Kennedy, this country was chosen due to its climate, ideal for cultivating cannabis, as well as its efficient, educated and agricultural-oriented workforce.
The plantation and production site cover around 5.9 acres, and two successful cannabis harvests have already been reported since the company received its license and official authorization to cultivate, import, and export medicinal cannabis in 2017.
This facility focuses on cultivating medical cannabis, which will then be exported throughout Europe, but it’s still waiting for INFARMED’s approval for legally producing and distributing cannabis-based medicinal products.
With proper encouragement, quality control, and legislation, Portugal is on the way to enter the market and become a strong European cannabis producer and distributor, standing next to countries like Germany and Malta. Tilray expects to begin cannabis exportation from Portugal by the end of this summer.