Alexis Tsipras has had a hard go of it since his election as the 185th Prime Minister of Greece in 2015. The IMF, the EU and more specifically, the Juncker Commission, had demanded their pound of flesh for continuing the bailouts to Greece and, Tsipras, a former communist party member, swallowed his national pride and ideology to take the deal.
All of this austerity was to put the country back on track toward fiscal responsibility and bring the economy back out of the toilet.
As of March 2017, the Hellenic Republic had a 22.5% unemployment rate, approximately 35% of its population at risk of poverty or social exclusion and a public debt of approximately €314.0 billion (179% of GDP).
Sounds calamitous but surprisingly the country is on the mend with GDP expected to grow 0.4% in Q1 2017. Okay, I’ll grant you it’s a slow process, but things got pretty messed up financially for Greece during the 2007 global economic crisis.
As such, Tsipras is doing everything he can to seed economic growth within Greece, as illustrated by today’s announcement that Greece had legalized the production and sale of medical marijuana.
Yes, there are compassionate grounds for this announcement as the world begins to understand the powerful therapeutic properties of cannabis, but this decision by Tsipras’ government could lay the foundation for a new financially lucrative sector in an economy that desperately needs it.
Greece, the sixth country in the EU to legalize medical marijuana, is a significant agricultural producer with over 12% of its labor force involved in the sector. Well-suited to a pursuit such as this.
Just how much could Greece benefit from medical marijuana?
Greece is about a third of Canada in terms of population. According to Statista.com, the Canadian medical marijuana market is expected to hit $1.1 billion by 2020. Greece could develop a $337.0 million-dollar MMJ market – even more if it exports to the rest of the EU.
If Greece goes further, like Portugal, and makes recreational marijuana legal, the market could reach $7.0 billion – again, even more if it exports to other countries in the EU.
However, you aren’t going to be able to go to your doctor tomorrow and get a prescription filled, as details on how MMJ will be cultivated and distributed have yet to be determined by Tsipras’ government.
Even though this is just the start of the journey, this announcement bodes well for the industry and provides opportunity for companies such as BC-based Quadron Cannatech (QCC.V).
Quadron’s CEO, Rosy Mondin, a Canadian MMJ icon, has seen the future of the industry and it isn’t in growing. As the marijuana market matures, it will be the ancillary products and services associated with sector that will have the highest margins.
According to Quadron’s investor deck, the company provides automated extraction and processing solutions through fully integrated equipment, ancillary products and services.
Essentially, as the company puts it, Quadron wants to take producers from green to gold starting with R&D into new extraction and refining methods and ending with formulated extractions for customized products like vapes.
Even though leaf seems to be holding out against oils at the moment, it is expected that cannabis oil extraction will become a major segment of the market.
According to Mackie Research, cannabis oil consumption in Canada will grow from 284 litres in 2015 to 562,613 litres by 2020. That’s a 198,000% increase.
Growers are going to be scrambling to get their product processed, but not everyone will be able to afford the equipment necessary, especially small to medium-sized growers.
Just how big is that market?
There are approximately 50 LPs and that number is growing rapidly. Besides that, under ACMPR regulations, there are about 28,000 craft growers and around 3,700 designated growers. And that’s just Canada.
Quadron, seeing the incredible opportunity, has stepped forward to provide equipment solutions for sale, rent or lease, giving small to medium-sized growers an affordable and cost-effective option when it comes to extraction systems.
The company’s in-house designed High Flow CO2 super-critical Extractor will almost double the oil output in nearly a quarter of the time. It is scheduled to be sold to third parties by Q3 2018.
Also, Quadron’s Mobile Extraction System should be in the field by end of 2017 and the company’s proprietary cannabis odor elimination system leads the industry with sales commencing last month.
To complement its extraction business, Quadron has developed a full range of vapor pens and cartridges and the company is currently researching the capsules and suppositories market
Then there’s Quadron’s in-house engineering and automation group, Cybernetic Control Systems Inc., and of course there’s Quadron’s 3-year $1.5 million-dollar R&D partnership with Odorchem, an industry leader in cannabis odor elimination.
Quadron has its finger in a whole slew of pies, but that still isn’t where the beauty in this lies.
Because the company handles no cannabis, it is able to sell its products and services to any market on the planet. So, Greece’s announcement today just opened another door for Quadron and as legalization spreads across the globe, so does the potential for Quandron’s rampant success.
Do yourself a favor and check them out.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Quadron Cannatech is an EQUITY.GURU client and some of EG’s principals own stock in the company.