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Germany, Poland and Australia are the main destinations for the 5.4 tons of medicinal cannabis exported by Portugal

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Photomontage: Cannareporter

Portugal has already exported more than 5.4 tons of cannabis in 2023, mainly to Germany, Poland and Australia, but doctors continue to prescribe very little in the country: only 524 packages were prescribed, of the only substance that is available to Portuguese patients: Tilray Dry Flower with 18% THC.

At the end of last year, there were 34 companies operating in various activities related to medicinal cannabis in Portugal (see the map and lists by activity here). This year, Infarmed has already issued 76 new authorizations to cultivate, manufacture, import, export and distribute cannabis, but has a further 265 requests in the post-decision or suitability for inspection phase: 98 inspection requests for cultivation, 38 for manufacturing, 115 for import/export and 14 for wholesale distribution. 150 entities have the documentation to continue in the licensing process.

There was a much smaller increase in requests for ACM (Authorization to Place on the Market) for cannabis-based preparations and substances: there were 14 in 2022, now there are 15.  

We are updating the map with all licensed companies in Portugal and will publish it soon. In the meantime, find out the most recent numbers, relating to the first half of 2023, released in the Infarmed report.

Cannareporter had requested an update of the data from Infarmed on September 7th, but only yesterday, October 30th, did it receive the report, which was updated last August and is published below. The most recent data relates to the 1st half of 2023, was last updated last August and focuses on the evolution of activities related to the area of ​​cannabis for medicinal purposes in Portugal.

The Infarmed building, in Lisbon

The authorizations issued this year by Infarmed to cultivate, manufacture, import, export or distribute products derived from cannabis for medicinal purposes were 76. Of these, 21 were for cultivation, 13 for manufacturing, 27 for export/import activities and 15 for distribution by thick. 

Despite the several dozen companies already licensed in Portugal, the number will certainly increase significantly in the coming years. Infarmed currently has 265 requests in the post-decision or suitability for inspection phase — which does not mean that it is the same number of companies, as the same company can accumulate several types of authorization: there are 98 requests for inspection for cultivation, 38 for manufacturing, 115 for import/export and 14 for wholesale distribution.

Portugal exported more than 5 tons of cannabis, but only sold 7,8 kg in pharmacies

This year, Portugal exported 5438 kg of cannabis, with Germany leading the list of importers (1678 kg), followed by Poland (1589 kg) and Australia (955 kg). The quantities exported to Spain, the United Kingdom and other countries such as France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Ireland or the United States dropped significantly and Israel completely stopped importing cannabis from Portugal.

Tilray's dried flower with 18% THC is the only cannabis-derived product on sale in Portuguese pharmacies

Even though the data only relates to the 1st half of 2023 — and a lot can change in the last six months of the year, it is not believed that the number of medical prescriptions will increase much. With only one product available in pharmacies – Tilray's dried flower with 18% THC -, in the first half of this year there were 524 packages of 15 grams sold, the equivalent of 7,86 kg. In 2022, 929 had been sold, or 13,9 kg. Infarmed does not provide any data regarding Sativex and Epidyolex in this report.

Regarding requests for ACM (Authorization to Place on the Market) for cannabis-based preparations and substances, the situation has also changed little: if in 2022 there were 14 requests being evaluated, as of August 2023 there are only 15, of which three are substances and 12 are preparations. It is also important to say that of the 14 under evaluation last year, none have yet been definitively approved by Infarmed, with four being invalidated and one being rejected.

General requests for information for medicinal cannabis activities and related matters in Portugal submitted to Infarmed also reduced significantly this year. In 2022 there were 1001, this year, and at the date of the report, there were less than half, 435.

Infarmed-Evolucion_Actividade_Canabis_1H2023—Cannareporter

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