Why Investing In The Greek Cannabis Market Is So Tempting


Marguerite Arnold

March 26th, 2018

Policy


There are several markets in the world right now which should be on the scopes of international investors who want a little canna flair to their portfolio. For the most part, the safest part of the market is the international (at least to Americans) medical cannabis vertical, precisely because it is going to be so regulated. Want a green, feel good, pro-medical investment in your (institutionally backed) portfolio? Euro, Canadian, Israeli, and Australian markets are all interesting bets right now.

However there is one place that promises, for a variety of reasons, to be a hybrid from the get-go, and further backed with an enthusiasm, from a federal government, so far unseen anywhere else in the world.

For that reason, outside of Germany, there are few markets in the world this spring that have as much potential as the Greek medical cannabis market.

The country is opening its arms to foreign investment of the medical cannabis kind.

Combined with tourism, which is on the rise, and the conditions are perfect for a Mediterranean cannabis industry which not only caters to an influx of visitors already but for whom this would only be the added icing on the cake.

Think Nevada (the first state with reciprocal medical rights for tourists). Or even California, except this time with federal rights. Not even Canada (or Israel for that matter) potentially has been so opening to this kind of investment – although both are certainly opening their arms to it now. For Europeans, think Spain, with federal reform and active encouragement. Or Germany with the attitude of the Swiss and a cannabis that contains THC.

For all these reasons, Greece is also another possibility altogether.

Why?

The Federal Government Is Actively Investing In This Sector

In northern Greece, in a place called Veroia, between 2-3,000 jobs are about to come out of a really unique experiment. Golden Greece, a company responsible for coordinating the projects group of 10 investors from Canada, Kazakhstan, Poland and Israel, has invested about $500 million so far, with an expected goal of close to $2 billion. The company (and others like them) are also operating with the explicit help and support of the government.

80% of those jobs will be going to Greeks. And as such, already a great example of how a thriving industry here will prove to be a vital tool of economic stabilization for a country.

Average monthly wages hover around $700, some of the lowest in the EU. Top earners in the cannabis industry can bring home between $80-100k per year, even here.

Even better? The Greek government is also not shy about its intentions to expand into recreational – when the time is right. As seen elsewhere, the medical market is the first to open any new jurisdiction. It took Canada four years to make the transition. Given the flavor of local politics in the EU, it will probably take that long here too. But look at Canada now.

The Impact On The Rest Of Europe

One of the fundamentally more interesting impacts, besides creating an even “buzzier” tourist economy (which is already trending up again, including from German visitors), is the impact Greek green business development will have across the continent. Right now, it is beginning, particularly with the promise of foreign investment attached. That is true across Europe. For the most part, officials are also cautiously optimistic but asking for referrals and the normal business credentials. That includes verification of liquidity and other standard business norms (like background checks for officers of public companies).

In Greece, as in other places, the people getting in the door now are, for the most part, accredited investors only. But that, in turn, will seed a much broader, greener, economy that will allow smaller investors, and even more interestingly, investment funds, to enter the market here in a way unlike most of Europe for now. However, the inevitable success of those smaller models will also absolutely seed the cause for greater and wider reform. Not just in Greece, but across Europe.

For all the reluctance of politicians, Europe is going to have a very verdant and lush canna spring!

For one of the best entries into this market from a business perspective, be sure also to go to the ICBC Berlin, April 11-13. Early bird pricing still applies.

About Marguerite Arnold



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