Young cannabis plants with skinny leaves reach up for more light.

Chris Yarzab

Tilray Plans Major Expansion in Portugal

Canadian medical cannabis producer Tilray plans to invest 20 million euros (about C$29.5 million, US$24 million) in their operation in Portugal, where they recently won a license to import seeds and clones and cultivate them, the Canadian Press reports. The Cantanhede site will grow, process, and package medical cannabis products that will be distributed throughout the European Union.

Tilray CEO Brendon Kennedy estimates the EU market could be worth up to 40 billion euros annually, with as many as 10 million patients, and Portugal “seemed like the ideal location to grow plants.”

“We’re seeing massive demand from Germany so we needed to build a large facility to meet that demand and we needed to get it up and running very quickly,” he said, noting that the site will have outdoor crops, 108,000-square-feet of greenhouses, 1,600-square-feet of processing space, a genetics band, and an on-site laboratory.

The Portugal facility is the company’s first outside of Canada, and is expected to create 100 local jobs.

Tilray is owned by Seattle, Washington-based Privateer Holdings and based in Nanaimo, British Columbia. It has subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, and Germany and currently offers products in six countries, with plans to expand to five more by the end of the year.

The Portugal facility is expected to be completed by next spring.

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