Greece officially legalizes the sale and cultivation of medical marijuana
The Greek parliament has just voted to legalize the production and sale of medical cannabis and to advance the country’s long-delayed medical marijuana program.
Greece legalized medical marijuana back in 2017, but this original law did not allow the cultivation or sale of cannabis products with THC levels above 0.2 percent. The following year lawmakers passed limited law to encourage the production and sale of cannabis, but regulatory issues prevented the program from moving forward.
In 2019, US-based weed investment firm DevCann invested nearly $ 14 million in the country’s medical marijuana market in the hopes that Greece would become “European California”. By the end of this year, companies from Israel, Saudi Arabia and other countries had invested $ 400 million in Greek weed companies. Even so, Greece was unable to fully implement its medical pot program.
After another two years of delay, the Greek development and investment industry proposed a new bill to explicitly legalize the sale and manufacture of medicinal pots. Deputy Minister for Development and Investment Nikos Papasthanasis said this legislation would help expedite the process of licensing medical marijuana companies.
Christos Kellas, a spokesman for the New Democracy Party, told the Greek reporter that the new bill is “an integrated framework for the development of the cannabis industry in our country that we expect to create benefits for our economy through investment and investment new jobs. “
Kellas stated that this legislation “will create new options in agriculture and processing, but especially for those who use the end products of medicinal cannabis. Medical marijuana can relieve their illnesses and help them respond better to treatments if the treating physicians deem it necessary. “
The law was challenged by several parties in parliament, including the main opposition party Syriza, which called it “cowardly and shy”. Syriza spokesman Alexis Haritsis argued that the bill was incomplete as it only legalized the manufacture and sale of medicinal cannabis flowers. Extracts, oils, foods and other popular products would remain illegal, which could put Greece at a competitive disadvantage compared to neighboring countries.
Despite the opposition, the law was passed by 158 votes to 33 last week. Haritsis said Syriza still hopes to amend the bill to allow cannabis extracts to be grown and sold. The opposition party also hopes to amend the bill so that a single cannabis business license will cover both the sale and export of domestic medicinal pots.
While Greece is still struggling to implement its medical marijuana program, some of its neighbors are leading the way in courageous cannabis reform efforts. Last fall, North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev announced a new plan to legalize adult cannabis to make his country the top travel destination in the Balkans.