US rap artist Snoop Dogg is turning his attention to Europe’s booming cannabis industry.
The artist, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, is the co-founder of Casa Verde, a vulture capital (VC) fund based in Los Angeles that focuses on the cannabis industry.
Casa Verde announced on Tuesday it was investing $15 million (€13 million) into Portugal’s medical cannabis firm AceCann. It is the US company’s first investment in Europe.
AceCann chief executive Pedro Gomes told Sifted that Snoop Dogg and Casa Verde’s involvement marked a huge show of confidence in the startup.
“Having Casa Verde on board, with their track record in the US, and being their first investment in Europe, it’s definitely a stamp of quality for us,” he told the publication.
The Portuguese start-up, which was founded in 2019, said it would use the funding to develop a “state-of-the-art” production facility in Vendas Novas, an hour outside the capital Lisbon.
“We pivoted this to do this in an indoor facility so that’s already something different to most other European projects,” he said, predicting that by 2024 AceCann’s new production facility could provide for as much as €15-20 million in annual sales.
“As legalisation sweeps across Europe, we foresee a rapid and exponential rise in demand for high-quality cannabis flower and extracts,” the company said on its website.
“With an experienced team, unique cultivation and extraction techniques and vast network, AceCann can become a premium provider to Europe’s booming medical cannabis industry”.
Europe’s cannabis wave
While cannabis is illegal in Europe, some countries do allow it to be used for medicinal purposes and the industry is growing fast.
Europe’s cannabis market is expected to reach € 3.2 billion by 2025, according to the European Cannabis Report.
Already, 60,000 people were able to access cannabis medications for the first time in Europe in 2020, bringing the total to 185,000 patients for the year.
Germany could in due course legalise cannabis for all adults as all three parties engaged in coalition talks following the September election plan to relax the ban on cannabis possession.
More European countries, including Switzerland and the Netherlands, are also expected to open up to the prospect of legalising cannabis over the next several years.