Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) has announced plans to double its workforce in Portugal to 200 as it plans to boost production in the coming months.
Subsidiary Tilray Portugal Unipessoal Lda. has just completed a successful harvest at its EU Campus in Portugal. It follows a €20 million ($22.6 million) investment in the facility, which is 250,000 sq. ft. and has room to expand.
The facility handles indoor, outdoor and greenhouse cultivation, research, development, processing, packaging, and distribution of medicinal marijuana and CBD derivatives. It employs 100 people at the campus right now, but that figure is expected to double over the next nine months as it ramps up production and plans for multiple harvests before the end of the year.
“Our harvest in Portugal is an exciting milestone for the company as we continue to build our multinational supply chain of high-quality medical cannabis,” said Sascha Mielcarek, managing director for Europe at Tilray.
Shares increased 5% on light volume pre-market as a result of the announcement.
Tilray’s cannabis operations now span 12 countries and reach tens of thousands of patients and consumers across five continents. Europe is tipped to emerge as the largest global market for cannabis in the near future, and Portugal is staking a claim to be a major hub on the continent.
Holigen is investing €40 million ($45.2 million) in building one of the world’s largest facilities on a 72ha plot in the country’s Alentejo region. It should yield 500,000kg per year when fully operational.
In November 2018, International Cannabis Corp. expanded into Portugal by snapping up hemp producer Enigma Unipessoal Lda in a deal worth $12 million. Last month Aurora announced a 51% acquisition of Portuguese company Gaia Pharm Lda, which will now be renamed Aurora Portugal Lda.
Israeli firms are also looking to expand into Portugal. The global industry is attracted by its favourable climate, cheap labour costs and pro-cannabis government, and the number of firms piling in keeps rising. Countries like Greece, Malta and Italy are vying to rival Portugal as the largest producer in Europe, while there are already significant operations underway in The Netherlands, Denmark and the UK, but Portugal is witnessing huge growth and could emerge as a key player in the global marijuana trade.
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