American company Kaya Holdings is to expand overseas with an investment in a Greek cultivator – as the Mediterranean country looks to kick-start a medical cannabis cultivation industry.
Kaya, which says it was the first public company to own and operate legal cannabis stores in the U.S., says the time is now right to expand overseas. The proposed deal will see it take a 50% stake in Greekkannabis (GKC) through its majority owned subsidiary; Kaya Brands International.
GKC is an Athens-based listed company which is awaiting approval on a medical cannabis cultivation, processing and export license from the Greek government.
New Government Boost
The liberalisation of cannabis, which began under the former Syriza government, has continued under the new New Democracy centre-right party which won a snap general election in July, this year.
Commentators says the growing European demand for medical cannabis could help Greece recover from the sovereign debt crisis in a country which has an unemployment rate of around 17%. GKC plans to establish its cannabis cultivation and processing facility comprising 125,000 sq ft of greenhouses.
In a press release the partners say the site is capable of producing more than 280,0000 pounds of flowers, annually, for distribution throughout Europe and other selected markets. Kaya CEO Craig Frank said that since becoming the first U.S. public company to own and operate legal cannabis stores and farms, in 2014, it had ‘slowed its pace of growth’.
Thousands Of Jobs
He said this was to enable it to ‘gain operational experience in Oregon – one of the world’s most intense cannabis environments – and then expand operations’. He said it now time for the Kaya Farms brand to expand, with Greece being the first port of call.
It is also looking to expand its Kaya Shack retail brand through franchising in Canada, saying it now has ‘operational experience and compelling brands to create exciting opportunities’.
The News Credit website reports that Greek government has granted a total of 26 cultivation licenses for the cultivation and processing of cannabis for medicinal purposes. The new Greek government says it is looking for overseas investment with the aim of creating thousands of new jobs.
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