Currently, the medical cannabis business is valued at around $ 200 billion and there are already four companies to plant what many call "green gold" on Portuguese soil.
In Portugal, 160 million euros have been invested so far, but this figure may increase after the agreement between Terra Verde's investors is finalized, according to the EB. In all, 750 new jobs will be created, ranging from agricultural workers to specialized laborers (pharmacists, biologists and chemical engineers), according to the Economic Journal this Friday (paid access).
The legalization of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes was approved in June 2018 and the regulations published in Diário da República on January 15, 2019. The regulations establish that the cultivation, manufacture and trade of cannabis for medical purposes can only be done after of Infarmed, which must be updated every year.
The first to obtain the production authorization was Sabores Púrpura, based in Coimbra, but with two plantations in Tavira. In statements to the JE, the company that started activity in 2012 "foresees a global investment of the project of about 100 million euros, having already been considered in this investment the new regulations related to cannabis medicines." In addition, the CEO of the company, Miguel Pereira da Silva confirmed to the JE the opening of 400 new jobs.
Headquartered in Sintra, RPK Biopharma, a subsidiary of the Holigen group, will set up its first factory in Aljustrel on 72 hectares of land after 18 months of studying the business. According to the international and local press, after obtaining a license from Infarmed to produce more than 500 thousand kilos per year of cannabis, the group invested 40 million euros in the new plant and provides for the opening of 150 new jobs . Flowr Canada holds 19% of the project.
Also Canadian is Tilray, the company of Brendan Kennedy, founded in 2010, which invested 20 million euros in its first factory in Cantanhede, whose opening is scheduled for April 24. The unit has an extension of more than 70 thousand square meters and will hire 200 new workers. One of them is Jaime Gama, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of António Guterres, who will be the cannabis production consultant for Tilray.
Terra Verde completes the quartet of the 'herb', having started production of the plant in 2014 in Setúbal. The Terra Verde investment project in Montijo does not yet have a "completed format" given the ongoing negotiation with its future foreign partners, the JE learned from sources accompanying these negotiations. However, the Terra Verde unit already has the infrastructures for the start of production of cannabinoids for use by the pharmaceutical industry.
The former minister and founder of the PSD, Angelo Correia, recently entered the capital of this project, having acquired a 40% stake. The JE knows that the total value of this investment is not yet decided, but may exceed two tens of millions of euros.