Portugal’s privileged conditions – good weather, hours of sunshine, cheap land, skilled and competitively priced labor, and clarity in legislation – are attracting dozens of people interested in making the country the gateway to the European medical cannabis market. Thanks to these reasons, there are companies already prepared to invest in Portugal’s cannabis market on a large scale.
Entrepreneurs, regulators, and experts in the cannabis field met in Lisbon for the fourth edition of the international conference CannX Lisbon. In an interview, one of the speakers at the conference said he considers that the boom in the cannabis market in Portugal shows no signs of slowing down by international investors.
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Cannabis market boom in Portugal
One year after the entry into force of the legislation that allowed the marketing of cannabis products and substances in Portuguese pharmacies, there was a boom in the market in Portugal. Currently, there are six companies operating in the market, only five of which have a license to grow the plant.
The emerging growth in Portugal is remarkable, and betting on what is called the “green gold” should continue to grow according to the trend. That is precisely what was discussed at the fourth edition of the CannX Lisbon 2020 international conference.
Certain that Portugal could be a key element for the expansion of the cannabis market not only in Europe, but also in the world, Luísa Cruz da WiseHs, Professor Alexandre Quintanilha, and lawyer Carlos Nunes sat down to discuss the opportunities and challenges of investing in Portugal. Speaking in English to an audience of investors, entrepreneurs, and consultants, the lawyer stressed that due to the difficulty in obtaining licenses from Infarmed, it takes “a lot of patience.”
Medical cannabis business in Portugal
“Opening a medical cannabis business in Portugal requires a lot of patience, because we’re constantly starting and stopping because of Infarmed. Every step is important. Every step means getting closer to obtaining the necessary licenses,” she explained.
Waiting is no reason not to invest. In fact, according to the consultant, there are about 10 reasons to make that investment. “There’s a favorable position in Portugal in relation to other European countries, and this can be seen in the international investment we’ve seen recently”, explained Luísa Cruz da WiseHs.
Political stability regarding cannabis regulation
In addition to the climate and soil available for the cannabis planting, which results in a very low-cost price compared to other international markets, and which in turn helps to make the business profitable, Portugal has other aspects in its favor. “Portugal has a very clear and regulated situation since Infarmed has a great reputation at European level,” explained the expert. “Obviously with the license granted by this entity, there is a very great value at European level and for other markets too.”
Another aspect is, without a doubt, the political stability that led to the approval of the legalization of medical cannabis in Parliament with a majority in favor, and the favorable geographical position in Europe. For example, companies such as Tilray and EXMceuticals have decided to invest strategically in Portugal precisely because it will serve as a gateway to the European market.
Cannabis business benefit in Portugal
There are also some additional facilities for investors, such as gold visas, quality of life, and the presence of technical and scientific entities dedicated to providing legal support and assistance in foreign companies’ applications to Infarmed.
“Portuguese and qualified human resources are another great benefit in betting on Portugal,” continued Luísa Cruz, adding that there is a greater willingness to embrace the opportunities that may result from the cannabis industry. However, this workforce is not yet specialized, so there must be more opportunities for specialization that should come from employers and interested workers. “You’ll have to start from there, as these issues are not disseminated at universities or polytechnics.”
What is certain is that we are witnessing a boom in the cannabis market in Portugal. “Everybody’s interested. It’s a business that has very good profitability and returns on investment,” she stressed.
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