One year after the entry into force of the legislation that allowed the marketing, in Portuguese pharmacies, of cannabis-based products and substances, there was a tree on the market in Portugal. Currently, there are six companies operating in the market, with only five of them having a license to cultivate the plant.
The emerging growth in Portugal is remarkable and betting on what is called “green gold” should continue to grow according to the trend. And that was precisely what was discussed in the fourth edition of the international conference CannX Lisbon 2020, which took place this Thursday at FIL.
Certain that Portugal could be a key element for the expansion of this market not only in Europe, but also in the world, Luísa Cruz from WiseHs, professor Alexandre Quintanilha and lawyer Carlos Nunes sat down to discuss the opportunities and challenges of investing in Portugal. Speaking in English to an audience of investors, entrepreneurs and consultants, the lawyer stressed that due to the difficulty in obtaining licenses from Infarmed, “a lot of patience” is needed.
“This [opening a medical cannabis business in Portugal] requires a lot of patience because we are always starting and stopping because of Infarmed. But all steps are important. Each step means we are closer to obtaining the necessary licenses ”, he explained.
But waiting is no reason not to invest. In fact, according to the consultant, there are about 10 reasons to make this investment. "There is a favorable position in Portugal in relation to other countries in Europe and this can be seen in the international investment we have seen recently," he explained to Jornal Económico.
In addition to the climate and soil available for growing marijuana, which result in a very low cost price compared to other international markets, and which in turn help to profit the companies' businesses, Portugal has other aspects in its favor.
"We have a very clear and regulated situation here, since Infarmed has a great reputation at European level", explained the expert. “Obviously, with the license granted by this entity, there is a very high value at European level and for other markets as well”.
Another aspect is, “without a doubt”, the political stability that led to the approval of the legalization of medical cannabis in Parliament with a majority in favor and the favorable geographical position in Europe. For example, companies like Tilray and EXMceuticals they decided to bet, strategically, in Portugal precisely because it will serve as a “gateway” to the European market.
There are also some added facilities for investors, such as gold visas, the quality of life, and the presence of technical and scientific entities dedicated to providing legal support and assisting foreign companies in applying for Infarmed.
“Portuguese and qualified human resources are another great benefit in betting on Portugal,” continued Luísa Cruz, adding that there is a greater desire to embrace the opportunities that may result from this industry. However, this workforce is not specialized yet, for that it is necessary to have more opportunities for specialization that should come from employers and interested workers. "You will have to start from there, since these themes are not disclosed in universities or polytechnics".
What is certain is that we are witnessing a tree of this market in Portugal. “Everyone is interested. It is a business that has a very good profitability and return on investment ”, he stressed.