The news caught our attention, but it did not surprise us at all. If Almeria is known to be the orchard of Europe due to its extensive kilometres of greenhouses, in the near future, it could also be known as the cradle of medicinal cannabis in Spain, thanks to the ambitious project of GSG & Associates.
This promoter recently announced the offer of some jobs for this project. They published four vacancies for management positions and 1,625 unqualified staff assignments. Their task will be to work on the ten hectares of medicinal cannabis cultivation, owned by GSG & Associates, which will be grown in the Almeria municipality of Retamar.
Technical and unskilled positions
The management positions require a technical qualification, since they are looking for the person who directs the plant, as well as professionals specialized in extraction, cultivation and drying. However, all other positions do not require any type of training. Although the comparisons are odious, we cannot avoid thinking that Almeria could become for some a mecca of trimming, just as the USA has been during the last years. For an industry that still goes through a delicate situation in our country, 1,700 jobs are a lot.
A hospital specialized in oncology
The objective of this promoter is to create a hospital that is a leader in its specialization in oncology and rare diseases. El Diario de Almeria already published this news in September 2018. The health centre would include an R & D laboratory to investigate new ways of treating diseases and therapies that have the CBD as its main ally.
The hospital will also have an independent centre for research companies in biotechnology sectors. But before counting their chickens just yet, the most palpable and immediate will be this production plant, as the first part of the project. This initial phase of the project has already begun its journey in Retamar, specifically on the road to Cabo de Gata, very close to the Michelin Experiences centre.
CBD and THC below 0.2%
GSG & Associates wants to take advantage of the properties and benefits of the two most known plant components. On the one hand, CBD or cannabidiol, this has been shown to be useful in diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, depression or anxiety. And, on the other, THC, which, in addition to relieving pain, is beneficial in diseases such as osteoarthritis, cancer or multiple sclerosis.
Although, for now, the tetrahydrocannabinolol that they produce will be below 0.2%, since it is the requirement that is required to grow this plant. While the Medicines Agency gives the green light so they can grow cannabis above the 0.2% percentage, GSG & Associates already has an agreement with a pharmaceutical company that will buy the cannabis below 0.2%.
250 million euros
It would be the first project of this magnitude in Spain that would invest in health and research, using medicinal cannabis as a base. According to an advertorial published in the newspaper 20 minutes: "the investment could reach 250 million euros, at the same time it would give work to almost 450 people".
The 20,000 hectares devoted to the legal cultivation of medicinal cannabis with the approval of the Ministry of Health have been awarded to five companies selected from more than 160 applications. All of them have an activity that will allocate the results of their harvests for therapeutic or research purposes.
Importance for the Almeria economy
As indicated in September 2018 in El Diario de Almería, this initiative could be "a real knock-on the economy of Almeria, besides that would place the province at the head of the medicinal use of CBD and THC at an international level, with hospital facilities to the vanguard in the medical field ".
Other information that we can read in the news provided by Antonio Veiga, CEO of GSG & Associates, is that glass cutting-edge greenhouses will be created, as well as an educational centre, for citizen training and information on medicinal cannabis for, in this way, end the clichés and false myths.
We have tried to contact GSG & Associates but, for now, we have not had any luck. It seems, as they indicate on their website, that they are improving their content online. We hope that they can soon tell us first-hand about the state of this ambitious project.