Greece may be able to tackle their long-term financial crisis with the legalization of medical cannabis.
After a decade of financial crisis in the Mediterranean country, the Greek government thinks that perhaps cannabis could help. A future cannabis cultivation project is being planned in Veroia, a fertile area in the Northern part of the country. The site will create more than 2000 jobs according to a representative from the company responsible for organizing investors in the project. The warm climate is similar to California, making it ideal for cultivating premium medical cannabis. And with new legislation, this plan could become reality as soon as next Summer.
“In Greece, we’re not looking at bringing people in from other areas that have cannabis experience,” Michael Blady, one of the investors involved in the Veroia project, said to The Independent. “We’re going to train as many people as we need and we’re going to start our own culture here.”
The initial focus for the Veroia cannabis cultivation project will be on extraction, packaging, and processing of medical cannabis products. But looking forward, investors believe that if recreational cannabis is legalized that aspect of the industry will come into play as well. Investors come from countries including Canada, Kazakhstan, Poland, and Israel. When this project goes live it will lead to jobs in cultivation, trading, and transport for Greeks. A welcome change to an unemployment rate that has stayed steady at 20% for the last five years.
Greece legalized medical cannabis use in 2017, but the law has not been implemented yet. Recreational use still remains illegal. If police find that recreational possession is in small amounts and clearly for personal use, it is often decriminalized in court. Individuals are generally arrested but rarely convicted. However, those who are holding large quantities could serve several years in prison.
Greek climates are ideal for cannabis cultivation, and this could lead to a positive turn for the economy including more jobs for Greek citizens.