The Hoshi International group is building an industrial complex which will occupy approximately 50,000 square metres, accommodating up to 15,000 square metres of high-tech greenhouses, a processing unit of 5,000 square metres and an area for outdoor cultivation.

The new unit represents an investment of €12 million, with 75 percent financed by Hoshi International and 25 percent by Portugal 2020.

According to Lusa, the group expects to “hire dozens of people with the necessary skills, as well as the training of people in the local community who already have agricultural experience”, the group ensures that “there will, of course, be employment opportunities available in a number of areas”.

Operations are due to begin in April 2022 and, although the production capacity of the future unit is significant, it will increase as the market grows in demand for dried flowers, oil or derivatives for cosmetics, so, at this time, "it is very difficult” to estimate quantities.

The group states that they chose this specific location in the Leiria district primarily due to climate conditions and the abundant land and water in the municipality which makes it “an ideal place for the cultivation of cannabis”, also noting the support of the of Figueiró dos Vinhos council, as well as of the local population.

While Portugal is often known for difficulties regarding paperwork, the company emphasised that the “Portuguese bureaucracy has not created any significant challenges”, but the Covid-19 pandemic “has caused problems and delays due to travel restrictions”.

The group adds that its presence in the country will help make it “the leading medical cannabis state in the European Union in terms of production”, noting that “the project is also attracting millions of euros in foreign investment, creating many long-term employment opportunities, and, of course, generating tax revenue” for Portugal.

Hoshi International was created in 2018 in Canada the first G7 country to legalise cannabis worldwide. “Supported by more than 15 years of experience in the Canadian and international markets, Hoshi is uniquely positioned to exploit the European market opportunity as it possesses a deep understanding of how to operate within strict but constantly evolving regulatory frameworks. Leveraging best in class cannabis industry IP, business intelligence, data, and experience, Hoshi is establishing itself as a leading provider of cannabis and derivative products to the emerging European market.

“With a population of 748 million and a yearly healthcare spend exceeding €2.1 trillion, Europe is poised to become the largest global market for medical cannabis products. A lack of legal infrastructure to supply the local legal medical cannabis industry has created a shortage of GMP/GACP grade medical product. Hoshi is one of a few companies positioned to supply domestically produced, and hence tariff-free cannabis products to this massive, high growth market.

“Hoshi has been granted provisional licenses for vertically integrated medical cannabis operations in Portugal and Malta focused on importing, cultivating, processing, and exporting cannabis products,” reads a statement from Hoshi International.