CANTANHEDE, Portugal (Reuters) – Famous for its roasted suckling pig and wines, the Portuguese city of Cantanhede now hosts the country’s first medical cannabis production farm – a budding European hub of efforts to meet growing demand for the flowering herb.
A worker smiles as she shows cannabis plants at the Tilray factory in Cantanhede, Portugal April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante
Portugal’s California-like weather caught the eye of Canada-based Tilray as its CEO Brendan Kennedy roved around Europe from 2015 to 2017 in search of the perfect spot for a new production site.
Kennedy said Portugal had the ideal climate for cannabis cultivation and the country’s young, educated workforce and its major agricultural sector were further attractions.
Covering 2.4 hectares (5.9 acres) in a biotechnology park just outside Cantanhede, Tilray’s site was given the green light by Portugal’s regulator Infarmed in 2017. The company then rushed to import its first baby plants and recently reported its first two successful cannabis harvests.Kennedy opened the site to visitors for the first time at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday.
“Some of our competitors are…