With supply, packaging, and regulatory issues consistently plaguing major licensed producers at home in Canada, companies such as Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) are focusing on international expansion on the hunt for profitability.  

Today the company’s European subsidiary Tilray Portugal announced it will add to its existing indoor Cantanhede processing facility by inking a deal with agricultural group Esporão to lease new outdoor grow space. 

That newly-signed agreement gives Tilray Portugal access to outdoor facilities in the country’s Alentejo region equal to 20 hectares of space. The first cannabis harvest from that outdoor cultivation site is expected to arrive this fall.  

After drying on-site, the harvested product will then be shipped to Tilray’s main Portugal campus for processing and distribution across various European markets. 

Discussing the lease deal and how it will impact international operations, Tilray’s European Managing Director Sascha Mielcarek had this to say:

We’re proud to be expanding our capacity to produce high-quality medical cannabis products in Europe using innovative outdoor growing methods. We look forward to supplying patients in need in existing and new markets with Tilray’s medical cannabis products, proudly produced in Europe.

The company has gone full speed ahead with European expansion this year, hiring five new vice presidents and directors from a variety of pharmaceutical companies to oversee international operations. 

Those new upper management hires all report to Managing Director Mielcarek and are responsible for business and commercial development, medical affairs, and marketing in the European cannabis industry. 

Tilray’s main $20 million campus in Portugal has been up and running for several months already, recently hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring local political figures after the site was officially granted Good Manufacturing Practices certification. 

150 employees currently staff that site, with Tilray stating multiple harvests of product are incoming by the end of the year. 

In addition to servicing European markets through Tilray Portugal, the company completed a bulk import of oral solution cannabis oil to UK pharmacies back in June.  

Recreational cannabis usage remains illegal in the UK, although medical usage was legalized late last year following the widely publicized case of an epileptic child’s medication being confiscated by authorities.