A total of 30 proposed foreign investments in medical and industrial cannabis production that together exceed 350 million euros have been submitted to the general secretariat of industry for approval, Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) sources revealed on Sunday. Of these, two have been approved, two rejected and the remaining 26 are still pending.
According to the same sources, strong investment interest has been expressed by foreign investors hailing from countries such as Israel, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Belgium, France and Russia.
The size of the proposed investments, which could lead to the creation of an additional 1,436 new jobs, indicates that Greece could emerge as an international hub for the production and processing of medical and industrial cannabis, market analysts said.
Of the 30 applications for a licence to grow and process medical cannabis so far, Greek authorities have approved those submitted by Biomecann SA and Bioprocann SA last November - which together represent a total investment of 22 million euros. The two rejected applications were filed by a company that is no longer operating and a company didn't fill in the required questionnaire.
Of the remainder, 12 were submitted before November 2018 and the remaining 14 - amounting to an estimated investment of 159.1 million euros - have been submitted since that time. According to the ANA's sources, 12 proposals are considered "more mature" and in some cases authorities have asked for additional supporting documents, while seven also include land-use certifications.
The 26 proposals concern a total amount of land covering more than 110 hectares, while 16 applications are currently in the process of collecting the necessary supporting documents.
"Over the next few years, as Alternate Economy Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas said, we will have a very large production of both types, medical and industrial, and we will have effectively created a parallel and very important pharmaceutical industry in Greece," the sources said.
According to analysts, the sector could potentially bring investments worth 1.5 billion euros to Greece in the near future and generate roughly 7,000 jobs. Based on figures released by the ministry, areas for which proposals have been submitted include Corinth (one approved, one pending), Thiva (seven), Kilkis (five), Serres (one), Attica (two), Kastoria (three), Sparti (one), Ileia (one), Messolonghi (one), Magnisia (one), Halkidiki (one), Fokida (one), Preveza (one) and Larisa (one approved).