National Authority of Medicines and Health Products in Portugal (Infarmed) has just terminated Clever Leaves’ licenses to grow, manufacture, import, and export medical cannabis. It happened as a result of the company closing its location and letting go of 63 workers.
Clever Leaves and its history in Portugal
At the beginning of 2023, Clever Leaves was operating a facility in Portugal. However, they announced that they were shutting down all of their activities in the country, including their production and processing plants. The primary reason behind the decision was the company’s failure to meet its goals in Portugal as a result of market and legal constraints.
In a statement, Clever Leaves expressed gratitude to the Portuguese government and people for their help while they were there. The company also committed to assist and support anyone in need because of the closure. Unfortunately, as a result of this decision, 63 employees from Clever Leaves’ Portuguese operations lost their jobs.
Because of their established markets and better growth possibilities, Colombia, Canada, and the US will be the primary locations for Clever Leaves’ cannabis manufacturing and cultivation activities.
Portugal’s growing cannabis industry
Despite Clever Leaves’ exit from the Portuguese cannabis market, the sector remains extremely promising. According to data from Infarmed, they have issued 76 final permits by the end of the first half of this year. These were for four different kinds of medical cannabis around activities: growing, import/export, wholesale distribution, and production.
In 2022, Portuguese cannabis exports reached a total of almost ten tons, a remarkable 63% rise from the previous year. Notably, Israel, which had led the list the year before, was replaced as the biggest importer of Portuguese cannabis by Germany, Poland, and Australia.
We can expect that the industry’s ongoing growth will create new opportunities. there will be chances for both domestic and international businesses wishing to join the quickly expanding medical cannabis market.
Clever Leaves’ decision to cease operations in Portugal shows how the medical cannabis market is evolving. It also indicates the challenges that companies face while navigating diverse regulatory environments in foreign countries.