“We have constructed a hybrid greenhouse, which provides us the best of both worlds. We can use the Portuguese sunshine, while the greenhouse is also highly controlled and autonomous. We’re creating an optimal growing environment for our plants and implementing technologies that help us save energy,” says José Maraver, Founder of Kannabeira. The new medical cannabis company is currently finishing up the construction of the greenhouse and will get their inspection from Infarmed in June. After that, they are hoping to start operations quickly. “We are focused on creating a product that has value and are hoping to change the perception of the plant.”
High-tech and energy efficient
José explains that Kannabeira has developed a high-tech greenhouse, which keeps the environment perfect for producing medical cannabis that meets GACP qualifications. “We’re monitoring the environmental conditions through sensors, and everything is controlled by our computers pretty much autonomously. So we have everything from climate control technology to LED lights to grow all year round, black-out nets, and fans.” The company has partnered with Helexia, a Portuguese company focusing on energy efficiency. “They help us to introduce lots of technology to save energy. For example, we will be installing solar panels. Also, we will not be using air conditioners, we will have passive cooling systems, like roof windows, shading nets, and more. The more we grow as a company, the more of these energy-saving technologies we want to implement.”
Kannabeira is also committed to research and innovation, collaborating with universities and research institutions. “We partner with local universities in the country. From an agricultural perspective, we are working to improve our processes and growing techniques. On the health side, we are working with universities and other companies to put new medical cannabis products on the market.” When it comes to genetics, Kannabeira is partnering with a licensed Spanish company to do genetic research. “They are developing new strains every 6 months. Our genetics are thus tailor-made for us so that they are exactly what we want and can grow best.”
The Portuguese market
José explains that there has been a lot of hype surrounding the Portuguese cannabis market since 2018. Yet recently, some companies have already exited the market. “Some international companies seemed to have entered Portugal, just focused on getting as high a valuation as possible on the stock market. Those companies did not survive and have now already left. On the other hand, there are companies like ours that are focused on growing a high-quality product that has value. Therefore, I think Portugal is still the place to be in Europe when it comes to cannabis cultivation. We have the perfect climatic and regulatory conditions here, and the European cannabis market continues to develop and grow,” José says.
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