The Athens, Greece skyline, photographed on a clear, sunny day.

Andy Montgomery

Greece Parliament Passes MMJ Bill

Greece’s Parliament has approved legislation allowing the cultivation and manufacturing of medical cannabis, according to the Greek Reporter. The measure was supported by the ruling majority To Potami and Democratic Alignment parties and opposed by New Democracy, Golden Dawn, Centrists’ Union, and the Communist Party – the latter of which called on the ministry to withdraw the bill, alleging that lawmakers are allowing “vultures” and “murderous multinationals” to control the industry.

What else did lawmakers and stakeholders say?

New Democracy lawmaker Konstantinos Vlasis was concerned about the potential loopholes in the bill, which he said could lead to recreational use.

“Unfortunately, it not only leaves a window open for recreational cannabis, but an entire veranda door, [and] “won’t allow [the use of] endless weed.” – Vlasis on the Parliament floor, via Ekathimerini

The KETHEA Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals said the law must ensure cannabis is only available for medical purposes.

“We are discussing the licensing of a single, integrated unit that includes production, processing and production of finished medicinal products of hemp. That’s what it is about.” – Health Minister Andreas Xanthos, on the floor, via Greek Reporter

According to an Athens-Macedonian News Agency report, Canadian medical cannabis producer Aphria is planning to launch an investment for medical cannabis cultivation and manufacturing later this year. Deputy Economy and Development Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas indicated the investment is on a 5,000-hectare property, which, he said, could help bring 450 to 500 jobs and $1.2 billion into the Greek economy.

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