Dutch Passion recently attended the 2019 Athens Cannabis Expo. Over 150 companies attended the show along with thousands of visitors. The Athens Expo had everything on offer for the cannabis home grower. Cannabis seeds of all types were available, autoflower seeds, feminized seeds and CBD rich seeds from different suppliers. Grow room equipment, tents, nutrients, and other accessories were all available. Greece, just like the rest of Europe, has a thriving cannabis culture and a huge number of indoor and outdoor cannabis growers.
Athens Cannabis Expo was a really well organised and clean expo. It was also very busy, especially on Saturday and Sunday. The expo was full of curious growers, new growers and representatives from the legalisation movements. Expo publicity was well coordinated, even the national television stations attended and made TV features about the expo. Many home growers had come prepared to the show to stock up on supplies for their grow room. Many of the visitors were from Greece and neighbouring countries.
Cannabis use in Greece has never been more widespread even though it remains illegal for recreational use. However in March 2018, the Greek Parliament approved a new law which allows the cultivation of cannabis for medical use. At the Athens Expo, several larger Medical Cannabis cultivators spoke to the Dutch Passion team about growing our seeds. Interest seemed high in the feminized seeds with cannabinoid ratios of 1:1 THC: CBD in the final buds. CBD SkunkHaze and CBD Kush were popular feminized seeds varieties for the medical growers. But plenty of people bought autoflower seeds for indoor and outdoor cultivation. The long hot Greek summers with plenty of sunshine make outdoor autoflower seed cultivation very easy. Just supplement the soil with good quality compost, ensure plenty of water and some extra nutrients for late bloom and let nature take care of the rest.
One interesting trend in Greece is the popularity, and legal permission, to use CBD rich buds with THC levels below 0.2%. This is something being seen across Europe. Many people use CBD buds as tobacco alternatives, and report that it reduces the craving for tobacco. Many heavy cannabis users find that a quick vape/smoke of a CBD rich variety (with under 0.2% THC) also removes the craving to smoke THC rich cannabis.
CBD rich oils, buds, creams and edibles are very popular in Greece. So are hemp-related products in general. The pharmacies are interested in involvement and supply of medical cannabis and CBD oils, and so are many new start-up companies. The Greek economy was heavily hit in recent years, public spending has been squeezed and taxes have been raised. Many budding entrepreneurs are looking at the emerging CBD and medical cannabis industry as a way to get involved in a growth industry. Plenty of cannabis activists were at the Athens Expo, they are hoping that recreational cannabis can be made legal and create more jobs.
Greek cannabis lovers explained that a lot of the cannabis sold in Greece is grown in nearby Albania. Quality levels are low to begin with, and are made worse through poor drying and curing. The resulting imported Albanian weed is often brown with an unhealthy aroma and taste. The most unfortunate part of the situation is that the Albanian climate ought to be able to produce much better. Many Greek outdoor cannabis growers are producing good quality cannabis. Greenhouses and polytunnels are also a popular way to grow cannabis in Greece.
Most of the Greek growers make use of the natural sunshine and grow outdoors in greenhouses or in polytunnels. The number of indoor growers is lower, but they are increasing rapidly. Autoflower seeds are popular, especially with new indoor growers. They can be grown with 20 hours of daily light from seed to harvest and are an easy way to grow cannabis. Many indoor growers also like to grow feminized marijuana seeds, especially the famous classic varieties such as Durban Poison, Mazar, Orange Bud, and Blueberry. Desfran, the pure Sativa, was also popular and so was the recently released Critical Orange Punch. The Dutch Passion booth at the Athens Expo was busy throughout the expo.
Some locals brought samples of the regional outdoor sativa called Kalamata. Local growers have been carefully selecting parent varieties for the last 30 years and have produced a very fruity landrace variety with a great high. Dutch Passion was given some seeds which will be fascinating to further examine.
Dutch Passion loved the warm welcome from the Greek people. We loved chatting with hundreds and hundreds of growers of all types and sizes. It was encouraging to see the Greek home-grown market is growing so rapidly with such a strong focus on quality.
Thanks to the organisers of the Athens Cannabis Expo, they did a really great job and we hope to be back again next year.
January 31st 2019