The Clever Leaves company announced on Tuesday that it would expand its production area of cannabis for medicinal purposes near Beja to increase exports and strengthen the area of scientific research.
In a statement sent to Lusa, the US producer of pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids said that the expansion had been approved by INFARMED, the regulatory body responsible for the pharmaceutical industry in Portugal.
This approval will allow the company to “double its production capacity” of cannabis, which will increase from around 10,000 to 24,000 square metres of high-tech greenhouses.
The expansion of the property that Clever Leaves owns in the parish of São Teotónio (Odemira) includes “a dedicated facility designed specifically for Applied Research purposes,” it said.
According to the company, INFARMED renewed Clever Leaves’ licence to cultivate, import and export pharmaceutical grade products and expand production.
A decision that the medical cannabis market operator said was essential to continue its expansion efforts and research development in the Odemira municipality.
This expansion would only allow commercial production to be raised to an even higher standard of quality and reinforce the focus on testing and stabilising new strains of the cannabis plant, the company said.
Clever Leaves’ production from Portugal has been exported to countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and Israel, despite the “different requirements in terms of the specifications that need to be met to allow this type of product to enter each country,” it said.
Therefore, “the additional greenhouse space” will allow “greater adaptation of cultivation efforts to the specific regulations of each country, which will result in increased export capacity and greater diversification of the countries to which exports are made,” the company added.
“Our Portuguese operations last year have already allowed us to establish a historical level in the global cannabis trade,” said Clever Leaves CEO Kyle Detwiler, quoted in the statement.
Detwiler was optimistic about what the company would “achieve in the international market by 2022,” thanks to “this new approval granted for the expansion” of operations.