Investing over a billion in Greek cannabis

Golden Greece is creating a new agribusiness ecosystem in Greece to take advantage of a booming European market for medicinal marijuana

Cannabis is a non-traditional agricultural product that has huge export potential for Greece – not least to the UK, whose doctors will start legally prescribing cannabis-derived medicinal products this year. Greece itself legalised marijuana, and its production, for medical purposes in 2017, prompting the start of an investment wave. “Greece’s progressive attitudes towards cannabis, coupled with its new liberal regulatory policies, have encouraged a number of international investors to get on the Greek cannabis wagon, which they see as the best vehicle for transforming the European medical cannabis field, still in its infancy, into a pharmaceutical-level industry,” states Georgios Zafeiris, managing director of Golden Greece Holdings.

This private holding company, an investment vehicle for international funds and private investors, has recently announced plans to invest over £1bn in marijuana and hemp in northern Greece. It is confident of success, as it has in-depth experience of Greek agribusiness through one of its ten subsidiaries that combines the country’s history of quality agricultural products with new technology by producing, bran- ding and exporting organic olive oil.

Golden Greece’s management, which comes from a range of backgrounds including US capital markets, law, technology and science, started looking at the fledgling cannabis industry in 2015. “Medical marijuana was all over the news and the global market was projected to grow considerably, so the money was there as well as rising awareness of medical applications, such as epilepsy, pain management, migraine and arthritis treatment,” explains Zafeiris. “The European medical cannabis market alone is now valued at £45bn upon full legalisation. In our opinion, Europe is where the action is really heating up,” he says.

"The conditions are perfect for setting up a Mediterranean cannabis industry"
Mr. Georgios Zafeiris, Managing Director, Golden Greece Holdings

Doctors in countries like Germany, Poland, Italy and Switzerland are already prescribing marijuana and its derived products, and the addition of the UK to the list is the latest sign that the benefits are being accepted. But, although demand is increasing, “supply has fallen far behind,” claims Zafeiris. A recent Bloomberg report agrees, noting that Germany, for example, has few legal producers and is reliant on imports.

Golden Greece, and its backers that include world-leading technology providers CannaTec of Canada and Apollo Cannabis of Israel, are convinced Greece can supply this demand. “The conditions are perfect for setting up a Mediterranean cannabis in- dustry,” Zafeiris states. Having raised nearly £360m in a first funding round, it has set up a full production cycle subsidiary, Golden Greece Cannabis, that cultivates plants and derives elements for pharmaceutical and health products.

Within three years, when £1bn has been invested, it will, “create a Golden Greece ecosystem that encompasses marijuana production, branding, marketing, research and development, traditional health and medicine, biotechnology, medical devices, industrial by-product processing, payment services and investment platforms,” says Zafeiris, who enthuses about further expansion plans into medical tourism. He explains that those who invest and join this ecosystem do not need specialised knowledge, permits or large funds, and receive Golden Greece’s full support to benefit from a new industry that epitomises Greece’s rapidly changing agribusiness sector where “opportunities abound!”

Visit GOLDEN GREECE HOLDINGS at SALONICA CANNABIS EXPO2018, 28-30 SEPTEMBER, Porto Palace Hotel, Thessaloniki, Greece