The Green Organic Dutchman (TSX:TGOD; US:TGODF) is expanding into Greece and Denmark as it joins the battle to conquer the lucrative European cannabis market.

The Greek Ministry of Agriculture announced this week that the Canadian firm is investing €74 million ($84.6 million) in a 34-acre property and cultivation facility in Thebes. TGOD then confirmed these plans, revealing that it is liaising with Greek authorities for the past year and that it is awaiting a license.

The crop will start in 2020 and create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs for the Greek economy.

It looks all but certain to be awarded that license after the Greek government decided to issue a press release announcing TGOD’s arrival. Vasilios Kokkalis, the deputy minister of rural development and food, met with Markos Anastasiadis, chief executive of Greek subsidiary TGOD Hellas, to discuss the plans.

Kokkalis said the crop will start in 2020 and create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs for the Greek economy. He added that TGOD has pledged to launch partnerships with various Greek universities to fund scientific research, with the aim of turning Greece into a world innovation centre for CBD-based medicines. This is a venture that has the full support of the Greek government, according to Kokkalis.

Greece entered a new era of marijuana cultivation in November 2018 when it awarded the first two licenses to Bioprocann and Biomecann, but it is interesting to see a large Canadian firm making a considerable investment in the country.

TGOD, which moved into Mexico in October, has also launched two 50/50 joint ventures with Knud Jepsen in Denmark. Knud Jepsen has 80 years of horticulture experience and it is the world’s largest producer and distributor of the Kalanchoes plant. It has 520 staff across the globe.

They will begin a bulk CBD production platform whereby Knud Jepsen will handle day-to-day operations and TGOD will have exclusive rights to all production as it supplies the global market.

“As we roll out multiple phases of our JV and plan to increase the partnership to multiple countries across Europe, leveraging Knud Jepsen’s expertise as operators, and our expertise in cannabis will be critical to TGOD’s expansion throughout the continent,” said Brian Athaide, chief executive at TGOD.

It will begin with a 2,500-kilo pilot in Hinnerup, Denmark, but the plan is to then shift larger production to lower cost jurisdictions. That is where Greece comes in.

TGOD said that favourable labour rates and ideal climatic conditions for cannabis cultivation make Greece a perfect base for its operations in Europe, while its central location makes it possible to export to other European countries with dramatically reduced shipping costs.