• Portugal has an investment in life sciences and productive capacity in a sector that already represents nine per cent of national GDP. Growing this strongly in coming years is a strategic priority for the national government
  • EXMceuticals is tapping into this European market and is currently creating an industrial-scale, GMP, pharmaceutical-grade extraction and refining facility inside the European Union, near Lisbon, Portugal
  • EXM’s existing, operational, equipped, licensed and staffed cannabis laboratory in Lisbon was recently awarded a COVID-19 R&D-focused grant by the European Union and the Portuguese Government

For centuries, Portugal looked westward, watching the sails of explorers’ ships like Vasco Da Gama as they set out to discover what the world had to offer in Africa, the Americas and the Indies along with the treasures they held. Now, the country is turning its gaze eastward to the rest of Europe and the promise of new riches and wealth. But this modern generation of adventurers isn’t looking to return with cargoes of gold or spices. Instead they’re hoping to export something else.

Portugal’s health sector is an engine of the country’s economy. According to Portugal’s government page, “Investment in R&D increased around 128 per cent during the last 10 years and the number of scientific publications by Portuguese researchers has kept up with this trend with an increase of 123 per cent in the same period.”

Moreover, “Portugal hosts a vibrant and innovative R&D ecosystem, supported by several institutions scientific and technologic-oriented, present throughout the whole chain of value of the health and medicines sector, including the clinical trials.”

Despite this, the country faces the challenges of coping with an aging population in the age of COVID-19. But it also has opportunities to take a leading role in responding to the pandemic by developing biotechnologies that identify pathogens and increase diagnostic capacity.

That’s why the country has an investment in life sciences and productive capacity in a sector that has seen its pharmaceutical industry’s exports grow by 200 per cent in the last 10 years. The country is also open to alternative treatments and therapies, including cannabis-based products. When it comes to the health and wellness space, Portugal is now the gateway to the EU.

EXMceuticals on the ground in Portugal

EXMceuticals Inc. (CSE: EXM | FSE: A2PAW2) is poised to sail through that golden gateway. EXM is a bioscience company and emerging player in the hemp and cannabis wellness sector. The company’s goal is to become one of the world’s suppliers of the highest-grade medical cannabis ingredients.

licensed cannabis R&D facility and pilot refinery in Lisbon coupled with an industrial-scale, commercial, GMP-pharmaceutical-grade extraction and refining facility in development nearby.

EXM obtained authorization for cannabis research and development from INFARMED, the Portuguese National Authority of Medicines and Health Products, in Nov. 2019.

CEO and board chair, Jonathan Summers, says that this authorization has positioned EXM to take advantage of a massive opportunity and a clear path to add a commercial and industrial license for cannabis to its existing R&D license.

“The Portuguese authorities want EXM to be a science, extraction and purification hub to complement the emerging cultivation industry and we’ve said yes, of course, we will do that,” says Summers.

“We hope to be making our first commercial deliveries by late Q3 of next year.”

Portugal poised to become a cannabis powerhouse

EXM’s timing is significant, with Portugal expected to become a medical cannabis powerhouse. Its southern European climate is advantageous for year-round cultivation and it has low production costs. There is also a clearly defined legal code for what is allowed. It is also set to surpass the Netherlands as Europe’s largest cannabis producer by the end of 2020 if growth rates continue.

EXM is focused on creating EU GMP certified cannabinoids with high-quality standards. PHOTO BY SUPPLIED

That positions EXM as the partner of choice for any extraction, refining and purification needs for the local and international market wanting to enter the EU-GMP medical market.