© CHRISTOPHER KATSAROV By legalising medical cannabis in the Eurozone and gaining traction with national legislators, things are about to get very busy in Greece and the world of HEXOMED.
When Greece passed medical cannabis legislation in March 2018, it effectively put it at the forefront of thought leadership in the EU. Considered one of the most complete and advanced legal frameworks for the cultivation, production and distribution of medical cannabis in Europe, the legislation means Greece will be well-established ahead of other nations as the nascent industry gains a foothold.
And that means a lot of work for Manos Chatiras, CEO, and Leonidas Garyfallos, COO, both co-founders of HEXOMED, a medical cannabis company established in partnership with Canadian cannabis giant, HEXO Corp.
Greece’s green new industry
With the installation licence granted by the Greek government at hand, at the top of their to do list by the end of 2019 is breaking ground on a 36,000m2 medical cannabis cultivation and production facility located in Larissa, in the Thessaly region of Greece. The greenhouse facility, being built by Dutch greenhouse experts, Havecon, will be fully compliant with EU GMP and GACP frameworks. When fully operational, HEXOMED plans to employ between 150 and 180 people in a boost to the region’s economy. As a main hub for exporting medical cannabis products across all legal European markets, the company – and country – are making bold moves to own the space, Chatiras explained.
“An EU GMP facility of the scale and technology required to deliver an annual estimated throughput of 20 tons of dried and dried equivalent medical cannabis products requires a significant level of investment. Until there is an all-encompassing EU set of laws around medical cannabis, Greece provides the level of stability and transparency which is a prerequisite for such projects to be implemented successfully,” he says.
“We chose Larissa for a multitude of reasons, including but not limited to climate, related available workforce, academic background, as well as proximity to all main ports and airports of Greece. The University of Thessaly is considered top tier and even more so in the agricultural sciences, which obviously play a significant role in our project. Furthermore, proximity to main interstates, access to full-scale utility grids and an established industrial park create an appealing proposition for any such large-scale industrial installation.”
That is certainly part of what attracted strategic partners, HEXO Corp, in