by Stefanos Gialamas
This phrase would have been unlikely to be said until just a few months ago, when one of the most bold and pioneering bills ever filed in the country, has passed. It was then, that the way opened for growth, investment and capital inflow into a newly born sector. Almost immediately foreign investment came from Canada, Russia, Kazakhstan, Israel, Southeast Asian countries, America and others. The total investment exceeds € 1.1 billion and the government celebrates the warm interest and high returns to the economy. Then, another 5 companies became interested in Greek hemp, raising the business and showing the trend that will prevail over the next few years. Similarly, there are many Greek investors who don’t want to be left behind in the developments and have the intuition to enter this field. Many of them expect the developmental results to begin. There are many who, though late but nevertheless with keen interest, wish to enter this new market. The legislative framework favors the construction of greenhouses, for the manufacture of cannabis and processed products, and promises immediate authorization without too much bureaucracy. This, of course, is not accidental: geopolitical developments and legal modifications of our neighbors do not go unnoticed. Skopje has already instituted and built the first greenhouses for drug cannabis, forcing the Greek state to move faster and provide institutional and perhaps financial facilitation to those interested. With the international environment moving in that direction, Greece could only follow developments and move forward, making it a pioneer in the Balkans and southern Europe. The rest of the countries grant minimum licenses to growers, while in our country that is seeking economic growth, there is no license limit. And that was the smart move that has provoked -and will continue to do so- the interest of foreign investors. A move that promises fast depreciation and huge profitability to businesses that will invest in this industry.
There is also the issue of demand for these products. Many would think that such a rapid expansion will quickly saturate the market and prices may fall in a few years. But they did not calculate the entry of China’s purchasing power! Until recently, the countries that an investor could send his products, were limited to the Netherlands, England, Germany, the Czech Republic and Israel. But then America and Canada came in, rising the potential buyers to several hundred million. But when China entered the market the message was one: More than 3 billion people are potential customers of these products. It was then that all investors realized, that almost half the planet could buy their products, and so a major burst of investment has started. This means that even if whole Greece is filled with corresponding crops, it will not be able to meet the global demand. It is remarkable that our country has the best climate conditions, for growing cannabis, compared to other countries. This gives it a big lead, thus cutting energy costs and increasing investment return. The low labor cost in our country, coupled with the high educational level of the residents, make it even more competitive. Also, the fact that our country is part of the European Union, guarantees the high quality of Greek products. This is because there are multiple controls in line with European standards, which certify the quality of these products, making them attractive to the markets. All of these, will play their role in the future, paving the way for more investment and even greater profitability. This means that the industries operating in the field will prosper, by enjoying the profits of the imminent growth in this field. And this, in turn, will create a chain-reaction in the local economy.
Let us not forget the potential, offered by low-cost cultivation for industrial cannabis and hemp with a high content of CBD, where it is proposed to replace traditional cotton crops etc, by including small farmers as well. Perhaps this will also stimulate the farming sector, that has suffered in recent years and increase the quality of living in the province. The message is one: everyone has to benefit from this move, in all areas. The involvement of many sectors and specialties, materials, machinery and services is a prelude to it. The very high yields of the final product can justify the size of the investment and make it depreciate in a record time (compared to traditional investments). Greece’s opportunity to get rich from exports to other countries is visible and feasible. The positive balance, resulting from these exports, will further strengthen the economy. The resulting jobs will lower unemployment rates, by raising the performance of the state and improving the quality of life. Soon the ‘green gold’ fever will hit all parts of society, by increasing entrepreneurship, research and expertise. The possibilities for cooperation with other countries and the transfer of expertise in all fields, will act as a lever for good relations and prosperity between the neighboring countries. In this environment, Greece will play a key role in the region, thus increasing its influence while at the same time strengthening its position at a global level.
So it’s only natural that if the state exploits this impending opportunity, it will succeed in what the others did not: Making Greece an economic power of stability in the region, finally turning it into a rich country.
The Green Greeks Magazine