The Canadian company HEXO because the latest company to get a medical cannabis license in Greece although it’s stock was falling following after the company posted quarterly revenue below analysts' forecasts.
The company said the license, issued by the Greek government, allows the company to establish cultivation, processing and manufacturing facilities in the Thessaly region of the country with HEXO hoping to boost its presence in the European Union.
"This is a major step for Hexo as we continue to execute towards becoming a top three global cannabis company," said CEO Sebastien St-Louis. "Receiving licensing in Greece will allow us to bring know-how and brands powered by Hexo to the European market. The new facility will also drive value for current and future Fortune 500 partners by giving them access to licensed infrastructure internationally with the vision of capturing first-mover advantage in the burgeoning European cannabis market,” he added.
Some 50 applications for licenses had been submitted as of mid-May, three of which are in the final stages of approval said the business newspaper Naftemporiki, adding that the 56 total potential operations could bring in 590 million euros ($663.10 million) in revenues.
The new industry could also create 3,500 jobs during a still-running more than nine-year-long economic and austerity crisis with the government, apart from hard-core elements who don’t want foreign businesses, seeking more outside investors.
After demonizing marijuana, fining and jailing people for its use, more countries now are turning toward the weed, as it’s called, because it’s seen as a lucrative source of more money, one of the reasons Greece finally okayed it for medical purposes.
With a far-left government and a youthful population known for disdaining the law, Greece is seen by companies investing in marijuana’s future as the perfect place to cultivate customers too.
“It’s the European California,” James Ickes, Managing partner for Devcann, an Ohio-based company that is investing €12 million ($13.7 million) to cultivate, process and export medical and industrial cannabis in the country told The Wall Street Journal.
“Greece is a pioneer, as it’s one of the few countries that offers the opportunity to export, and the location is great: a pathway to Europe and the Middle East,” Ickes said.
Greece legalized cannabis for medical use in 2017 and lifted a ban on growing and producing it in 2018. Medical-cannabis use is currently allowed in nine countries in Europe, but more are also considering following suit.