After legalisation, what next for medical cannabis in Portugal?

Cannativa’s Maria Álvares reflects on the landmark decision of legalising medical cannabis in Portugal – Is this a game changer to the cannabis landscape?

In 2018, medical cannabis in Portugal is legal when prescribed by a doctor, dispensed in a pharmacy, and licensed by regulatory body INFARMED but – to the disappointment of many – stopped short of allowing patients to cultivate their own supply. The law – which saw overwhelming support from all parliamentary parties bar the centre-right Popular Party, who abstained – came close to 20 years after Portugal made the radical decision to decriminalise all drugs and has been welcomed by many in the country, who have noted Portugal’s ideal climate for growing cannabis.


10 things you'll want to know about Europe's fast-growing marijuana market

You've probably heard plenty about the launch of the Canadian recreational marijuana market. And you are likely up to speed on the rapid expansion of legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana in the U.S. But how much do you know about marijuana markets in Europe?

Cannabis market research company Brightfield Group released its European CBD and Cannabis Market 2019 Report on Tuesday. This report analyzed the cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabis markets in Europe and in key individual European countries. Here are 10 things you'll want to know about Europe's fast-growing marijuana market from Brightfield Group's new report. 


Aurora Cannabis shares climb on news of medical marijuana deal in Portugal

Cannabis stocks were mostly higher on Tuesday, as investors digested the latest flurry of announcements from companies in the sector and moves among U.S. states toward legalizing weed for adult recreational use.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. shares ACB, -1.16% ACB, +6.36%  rose 3%, after the company said it’s acquiring a 51% stake in Portugal’s Gaia Pharma Lda., with plans to establish a local facility to produce medical cannabis and derivative products. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


These three medical cannabis companies are growing larger across the globe

Portuguese company Holigen is looking to build one of the largest cannabis cultivation facilities in the world in the Alentejo region of Portugal. The site will house 500,000 kilograms of cannabis per year to start.

According to the company, the warm climate and low labor costs make Portugal an ideal place to grow cannabis.

When it is fully operational in 2020, Holigen claims the facility will be capable of producing 635,000 kilograms per year. It’s a harvest that would place Holigen among the world’s top cannabis producers.

In August 2018, Holigen acquired a 5,000-square-meter site in Lisbon. In September, the company did its first non-founder capital raise to begin building the biggest indoor, and outdoor licensed medical cannabis grow in Europe.


5 of the best marijuana-friendly travel destinations (besides Colorado, obviously)

Colorado will forever be the first state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana, but as more states and countries follow suit the possibilities for traveling with bud are blooming.

If you're itching to visit new and exciting destinations but want to do make sure that you can engage in cannabis culture while doing so, take a look through this list of marijuana-friendly travel destinations.


The 5 countries most likely to legalize cannabis next

Find out why these are the top contenders for countries most likely to legalize cannabis.

Thirty states already have some form of legal cannabis law. In Canada, recreational cannabis is about to become legal for adult-use coast to coast. While it’s hard to definitively say which countries will follow suit in legalizing cannabis, these five are a safe bet. 


Portugal's largest political party endorses cannabis legalization

The Social Democratic Party (PSD), the largest party in the Portuguese Parliament, has endorsed the legal regulation of cannabis. TalkingDrugs spoke with the MP behind the motion.

The PSD holds more parliamentary seats than any other party, but remains in opposition due to the ruling Socialist Party’s alliance with several smaller left-wing parties. At the PSD’s national conference on February 17, a majority of party members voted in favour of a motion for legally regulating the drug “from production to distribution to sale”.


Portugal's pharmacists against legalisation of medicinal cannabis

"There is no scientific evidence to prove the efficacy and safety of its use," according to the Pharmacists’ working group when reporting to the parliamentary committee on health.

The group’s four expert pharmacists say there is no robust scientific evidence regarding the benefit-to-risk ratio of the use of the cannabis plant "for medicinal purposes," adding that, "there is strong evidence that there are safety concerns and toxicological potential."

The presentation of the pharmacists’ arguments, presented to the parliamentary committee, was led by Félix Carvalho, for whom, "there is no evidence that proves the efficacy and safety of its use."


Portuguese doctors back marijuana medicine as bill enters parliament

Portugal's influential Doctors' Association called for the legalization of marijuana-based medicines on Thursday, the same day parliament started to debate a draft bill that goes even further in seeking to allow patients to grow pot at home.

Although Portugal boasts one of the world's most liberal policies on drugs and has legal marijuana plantations destined for export, it has trailed several EU countries such as Italy and Germany, as well as Canada and parts of the United States in the last few years on medical marijuana.

Several EU countries allow for doctor-prescribed cannabis-based medicines to be legally acquired to treat chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, alleviate side effects from cancer therapy, and help with some other ailments.


Nanaimo-based medical marijuana company first to cultivate product outside Canada

Medical marijuana producer Tilray will begin construction of a greenhouse and processing facility in Portugal next month — becoming the first Canadian company to cultivate outside of the country. 

The Portuguese government granted the licence to Tilray who will invest $30 million Cdn to build their European Union headquarters. Tilray plans to distribute pot and pot-derived medical products to patients, pharmacies and researchers — not only in Portugal but throughout Europe.

"It's more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective to supply European patients from Portugal than from northern climates," said Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy

"Portugal has the ideal climate to cultivate cannabis, a highly-skilled health care workforce and a vibrant research community."


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