Former Portuguese Secretary of State for Health Dr. Eurico Castro Alves is the latest high-profile politician to join the cannabis industry.
He has joined the board of directors at Symtomax, which owns a license to create one of the world’s largest production facilities. It has a site totalling 1.83 million square metres and it plans to build a large greenhouse there to supply the lucrative European medical cannabis market.
It is working with Greater Cannabis Company (OTCQB: GCAN) in Baltimore on creating innovative cannabinoid delivery systems for the medical marijuana it will produce in Portugal.
Eurico, who was also formerly the president of Portugal’s health regulator, Infarmed, is now joining the board. He will sit alongside co-founders Minette Coetzee and Paul Segal, who serve as chief executive and chairman, respectively, at the business.
“I am delighted to have joined Symtomax and look forward to further assisting the business on a strategic level as well as pushing the company forward on a technical front,” said Eurico.
He graduated in medicine from Porto University before completing his general training at the Southern Illinois University Medical School and at the Cook County Hospital of Chicago. He became an Instructor in Advanced Trauma Life Support, a position awarded by the trauma committee of the State of Illinois.
He is currently the director of the surgery department at the central hospital in Porto, and he sits on a number of influential boards at medical organizations.
Portugal is keen to become a leading player in the global cannabis industry and the government has granted approval to a number of high-profile projects.
One will see Holigen, owned by Canadian firm Flowr (CVE: FLWR), produce more than 500,000 kg per year, making it one of the world’s largest producers. The Portuguese government has designated it as a Project of National Interest.
Another Canadian company, Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY), also has significant operations in Portugal and it continues to increase its footprint there.
Eurico joining the cannabis industry follows a trend seen in Israel, where two former Prime Ministers, the former Minister of Science, Technology and Space, the former Air-Force Commander and various other public figures have joined the flourishing cannabis industry; and in the U.S., where former Congressman Stephen Buyer is among the former politicians joining the trade.