Connect with us

Opinion

Portugal's regulatory advantage in the cannabis industry

Published

em

Photo: Sensi Seeds

In the dynamic landscape of European cannabis cultivation, Portugal has emerged as an interim leader. Although it shares many natural advantages with other Southern European nations, Portugal's success offers valuable lessons to global jurisdictions on how to stay competitive in the crowded cannabis production space: streamlining bureaucracy, encouraging investment and embracing international trade.

A few years ago, the European medical cannabis market was taking its first steps. As demand in countries such as Germany or the United Kingdom was poised to increase, heated debates ensued over the best jurisdiction to position production assets to supply these expanding markets.

“Portugal has emerged as the European cannabis cultivation center par excellence. It is the second largest exporter in the world, behind only Canada.”

Among the candidate countries that received the most attention at the time were Greece, Malta, Denmark, Spain, North Macedonia, Cyprus or Portugal. Each of them has been touted as having unique advantages, making it preferable as an investment location.

Fast forward to 2024, Portugal has emerged as the quintessential European cannabis cultivation hub. No other European country is home to more licensed and commercially active cannabis operations, and it is currently the second largest exporter in the world, behind only Canada.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Iberian Peninsula is one of the most suitable areas for medicinal cannabis cultivation in the world, boasting a more than 4.000-year history of cannabis sativa cultivation and a distinct convergence of important factors:

Image: Cannavigia.com

• A Mediterranean climate like California
• EU market access and pharmaceutical standards
• The highest solar irradiation in Europe
• Decades of experience in commercial creation
• A remarkable concentration of agricultural talent

However, all these advantages are not exclusive to Portugal. Other Southern European countries could claim them, but the regulatory environment is what makes a crucial difference.

Portugal’s regulatory scenario
In a recent conversation with Rafael Rey, CEO of Agropharm Projects, a leading Spanish engineering company that has developed many facilities in Portugal, he emphasized Portugal's regulatory stability as a crucial factor in its success:

“Portugal’s regulatory environment, although strict, provides companies with stability and high legal standards, which are essential to attract long-term sustainable investments. State and municipal support during the licensing and project execution processes provides a safe environment for potential investors. If entrepreneurs comply with the regulations, they will effectively obtain the necessary licenses. On the other hand, the current situation in Spain is uncertain for entrepreneurs due to deadlines, delays and lack of clear answers. Portugal has demonstrated solid collaboration between producers, companies, associations, authorities and academia, positioning itself as one of the main players of the European market.”

The Portuguese regulatory advantage goes beyond licensing processes, encompassing international trade rules and close support from public institutions:

Infarmed’s facilities in Lisbon, Portugal

1. Infarmed, the regulatory authority, has established a high standard of efficiency in processing licensing applications and inspections compared to other regulators.

2. Flexibility in export requirements beyond local standards has facilitated market access, particularly to destinations outside the EU, such as Israel.

3. Support from local and national administration allowed the acceleration of projects and encouraged investments through subsidies and promotion of projects of national interest.

Unlocking the internal market: the key to sustaining Portugal’s competitive advantage
Despite its achievements, Portugal faces the constant challenge of further liberating its internal market. The simplification of national processes to facilitate the registration and prescription of derivative products is necessary to stimulate local demand, benefiting local patients who are now unable to benefit from the same high-quality products that Portugal exports to other countries.

Expanding access to cannabinoid medicines in Portugal would also promote the industry's innovation and international competitiveness by enabling a faster feedback cycle, allowing Portuguese producers to fully capitalize on their product development capabilities.

This is also a necessity to improve the resilience of a sector highly dependent on potentially volatile foreign markets, in times of increasing protectionism across the world.

Portugal's success story offers valuable insights for global jurisdictions. To thrive in the highly competitive cannabis production landscape, the recipe is clear: adopt a proactive approach to regulatory reform, prioritize reducing bureaucratic impediments, facilitate investment flows and commit to international trade.
___________________________________________________________

Arnau Valdovinos: As founder and principal consultant at Cannamonitor, Arnau connects the dots of the global cannabis supply chain through an independent view of the international market. An advocate for evidence-based drug policy reform, Arnau has since 2018 provided intelligence and practical advice to medicinal, recreational and CBD companies across 5 continents and 19 countries.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

What do you do with €3 a month? Become one of our Patrons! If you believe that independent cannabis journalism is necessary, subscribe to one of the levels of our Patreon account and you will have access to unique gifts and exclusive content. If there are many of us, we can make a difference with little!

Arnau Valdovinos

As founder and principal consultant at Cannamonitor, Arnau connects the dots of the global cannabis supply chain through an independent view of the international market. An advocate for evidence-based drug policy reform, Arnau has since 2018 provided intelligence and practical advice to medicinal, recreational and CBD companies across 5 continents and 19 countries.

Click here to comment
Subscribe
Notify of

0 Comments
Inline feedback
View all comments
Advertising


Watch the Documentary "Patients"

Documentary Patients Laura Ramos help us grow

Mais recentes

International2 days ago

Germany approves first cannabis social club after legalization

The Minister of Agriculture of Lower Saxony, Miriam Staudte, announced this Monday that her office has authorized the first club...

Hemp4 days ago

Thailand increasingly closer to reclassifying cannabis and hemp as controlled substances

Thailand has taken another decisive step towards re-banning cannabis in the country. Last Friday,...

International1 weeks ago

European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) becomes the European Union Agency for Drugs (EUDA)

On July 2, 2024, the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) will become the Agency...

Events2 weeks ago

ICRS – International Cannabinoid Research Society brings together doctors and researchers in Salamanca for the 34th Symposium on Cannabinoids

If you think that cannabis research is something recent and that there are still not enough studies… think again! AND...

Crónica2 weeks ago

Terroir 101 – An Introduction

This article begins a series on topics necessary for those who believe that this plant deserves to be revered and elevated...

Events3 weeks ago

CannaReporter® Editor, Laura Ramos, named “Journalist of the Year” at the Business of Cannabis Awards

The cannabis industry is about to gather in London for two days of Cannabis Europe and a night of...

Press Releases3 weeks ago

Cannabis Europe welcomes European and North American leaders to London to capitalize on the European cannabis market

The North American cannabis industry is creating a significant movement across the Atlantic as leaders of this...

International4 weeks ago

German police clarify that they did not suggest the consumption of cannabis (instead of alcohol) to English fans at Euro 2024

The police in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, were cited in a news report stating that attention would be more focused on the fans...

Events4 weeks ago

Synthetic substances threaten Mary Jane Berlin's huge success

It was expected that this edition of Mary Jane Berlin would be the largest gathering ever of the cannabis community in...

National4 weeks ago

ICAD promotes European survey on drug use in Portugal

The Institute for Addictive Behaviors and Addictions (ICAD) has launched the 4th edition of the European Web Survey on Drugs...