The municipality of Lepe, a leading berry producer in the Spanish province of Huelva, is going to start growing medical cannabis. A company there has been authorized by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) of the Ministry of Health to plant cannabis with a view to manufacturing active ingredients for medical purposes.
Huelva produces 98% of Spain's berries and almost 30% of the European Union's. Producers and entrepreneurs in this sector have decided to try other kinds of crops, diversify their investments and venture into a flourishing industry: that of medical cannabis, whose use is not yet regulated in Spain, although it is allowed to be exported to other countries where its consumption is legal, such as Germany, Great Britain and Italy, among many others.
These berry entrepreneurs have set up Medical Flowers, one of the 21 entities currently authorized by the AEMPS in Spain to cultivate cannabis for research or medical purposes. In their case, the license allows them to cultivate in order to obtain the necessary batches for the validation of the manufacturing process of narcotic active ingredients for medical purposes.
Medical Flowers brings together several entrepreneurs in the berry sector in Lepe, including Tilla Berries, a family business of Valencian origin with a long history in this type of cultivation.
Its objective now is to diversify the production and investment in what will be the first experience in the field in the province of Huelva.
For now, Medical Flowers has chosen not to disclose data about the volume of employment it will create or the size of the first productions of medical cannabis, which they expect to be ready by the end of next summer. The entire process, from cultivation to the production of medicines, will be carried out at its facilities, once all the necessary authorizations have been obtained.
Medical Flowers is not the only case in Spain of agricultural entrepreneurs deciding to combine their usual crops with medical cannabis. In Almeria, Cualin Quality, with 25 years of experience in tomato production, created Medical Plants, the company that in September 2020 obtained authorization from the AEMPS to grow marijuana with a view to validating the process of manufacturing active ingredients for medical purposes.
Cualin and Medical Plants are both based in Los Llanos de Mojana, in the municipality of Antas, located in the Levante Almeriense, where they adapted 2,400 square meters out of their seven hectares of tomato greenhouses for the cultivation of cannabis. On their website, they state that they have state-of-the-art greenhouses, 430,000 cubic meters of water tanks to cover their irrigation needs and a fully equipped laboratory for the analysis of intermediate and final products and to conduct controls during the process.