Tsipras government’s medical cannabis bill due by end of month
One cultivation project in the north could create 2,000 jobs
The Greek economy has been hammered by 10 years of financial crisis, with unemployment topping 20 percent every year since 2012. Now, the government thinks pot growers can help.
While initial plans will focus on extraction, processing and packaging of medical marijuana, investors are also looking into an eventual recreational cannabis market in the country, provided the government opts for fuller legalization in the future, according to Blady.
Alexis Tsipras’s left-wing Syriza government, an enthusiastic backer of projects like Veroia, is set to propose legislation to allow pot cultivation projects to go forward as soon as the end of this month. The bill will be posted on the government’s website to allow the public to weigh in on legalizing cultivation and export of medical marijuana.
“There’s significant interest by the investor community to exploit the possibilities of the new legal framework for medicinal cannabis in Greece,” Agriculture Minister Evangelos Apostolou said in an interview. The government is willing to assist any investment project that could help boost the economy, the minister said.
The Veroia project’s backers say the positive effect on employment and wages provides a buffer against possible future changes in government. “Even when power does change and the political landscape shifts, it’s pretty hard to roll back on something that the general population sees as a benefit,” Blady said.