Stephan van Gerven, Nedcann

Macedonia: Focusing on manual labor to achieve high quality medicinal cannabis

“We have brought Dutch expertise and technique to Macedonia in order to produce high quality medicinal cannabis at a low cost,” explains Stephan van Gerven, CEO of Nedcann. The company was founded about four years ago, when they converted an old factory into a modern medicinal cannabis facility. Currently, they are one of the largest indoor facilities in Europe. “But we are not done yet. We are still expanding in three fases of 10,000 square meters each, adding an R&D center, the largest cleanroom in Europe, and are in the process of achieving EU GMP certification.”

Achieving high quality at a low cost
After having extensive nursery experience in The Netherlands, Van Gerven decided to take his knowledge to a different country, Macedonia. “Our goal has always been to provide high quality cannabis and have a consistent production, which is important for the medicinal cannabis market. That is why we have a modern indoor facility with a lot of Dutch technique, in which we can have complete control over our cultivation. No matter what the weather is like, we can be assured that the indoor climate is optimal for high quality production.”

Van Gerven explains that there was practical reasoning behind the decision to build up his company in this country. “The wages and costs are a lot lower here when compared to The Netherlands, for example. We saw this as a great opportunity to achieve high quality cannabis at a much lower cost. Consequently, we can do things differently than in other European countries. For example, we can have much more manual labor; from cutting the cannabis by hand to drying the plants upside down for two weeks. Whereas other European countries have a lot of steps automated, we are able to achieve a higher, craft-like quality.” Evidently, the hard work is paying off. “There is a very high worldwide demand for our products at the moment, especially for high THC varieties.”

A Dutch partnership
Recently, the company announced the start of a new partnership. After a previous project between Nedcann and KG Systems, they decided to work together once again in their construction of one of the biggest medical cannabis facilities in Europe. With KG Systems supply of cultivation and transportation systems, the partnership is completed with Balkan Greenhouses, a Macedonian company working on providing equipment for complete control of the production. "Building a facility for indoor production of medical cannabis is a complex process and implies having knowledge in different fields. Being able to work closely with the guys that supply the technical solutions is an added value to the product we want to get on the market,” Van Gerven explains.

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