Cultivating, processing and producing medical cannabis in Greece: Greek legislative framework.
The cultivation, processing and production of medical cannabis is one of the most rapidly growing markets in the United States and the turnover is estimated to reach 45 billion euros per year. Upon the implementation of law 4523/2018, this market opened for the first time in Greece and the institutional and legal framework for the growing and production of medical cannabis was created. The above-mentioned law, which fully legalized the growing and producing of medical cannabis, was approved by the Greek Parliament in May 2018, and since then the interest in investments in this area arose significantly. Indicative of this high interest is that so far 30 investment proposals for licensing of plants, cultivating finished products of medical cannabis have been filed.
Why should someone invest in Greece;
- The legislative framework (law 4523/2018) that gives the possibility for growing and producing medical cannabis exists.
- Greece is a country with a huge diversity of plant species and, thus, high quality medical cannabis can be produced
- The existence of large areas of land within Greek territory sets the ground for entrepreneurial activity in this field.
- Citizens of countries, where there is no legal framework for export of medical cannabis (e.g. Israel) have the opportunity to invest.
- It is a growing market with huge potential and prospect.
Greek legislative framework
- The installation and operation of plants, manufacturing and processing finished products of medical cannabis can be done exclusively for two disjunctive purposes:
- For the supply of State monopoly and its disposal for medical purposes.
- For export.
- The license cannot be transferred, including the exclusion of concession of any activity to third parties
- Investments by both natural and legal persons coming either from Greece or from abroad.
- Investing should be done on at least 4 acres. The growing and manufacturing of the final product should be done in the same area. This area should be undivided, enclosed and the cultivating area should be closed as well. The cultivation of the plant must be made in the form of a greenhouse.
- Submission request from interested investors in the General Secretariat for Industry.
- Exporting pharmaceutical cannabis is done by Customs of Piraeus and the Free Zone of Thessaloniki.
- The Greek legislation requires certain supporting documents for the licensing of a plant for growing and manufacturing medical cannabis, such as (a) certificate of existence of land b) details of natural and legal persons interested in investing c) declaration of tax representative and attorney-in-fact, in case that the applicant is based abroad d) affidavit of the applicant that no school exists within 1000 m of the production unit e) € 20,000 fee in favor of the General Secretariat for Industry (Ministry of economy and development).
- The permit for the installation of the plant is granted by a joint decision of the Ministers of Economy and Development, Health and Rural Development and Food within 30 days from the filing of the complete dossier and is valid for 5 years.
- Within fifteen 15 days from the issuance of the permit, the Licensing Department of the G.S.I. conducts an on-site inspection, which aims to establish the correctness of the questionnaire, the suitability of the site.
- In case the investor wishes to export the product, he must have special authorization for the product, which is provided by the National Organization of Medicines, at the request of the interested investor. This license is valid for 3 years and there is possibility of renewal.
- For the production of finished products of medical cannabis, a license granted by the National Organization of Medicines is required, at the investor’s request. on the investor request. The production plants of finished products of medical cannabis must have a production manager and a quality control officer.
- Any advertising of finished products of medical cannabis is prohibited.
- The retention of production facilities is run by uniformed and trained private guards.
Greece has the potential to be not only a center of production and extraction of cannabis-based products, but also a scientifically recognized area of research and study of medical cannabis in a European level. Greece has sunshine for more than 300 days a year and this climate is highly conducive for growing medical cannabis in the countryside.
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