Could Greece’s Legalisation of Cannabis Save Them Money?

Cannabis can be used for chronic and neuropathic pain
Cannabis can be used for chronic and neuropathic pain | © cheifyc / Pixabay
Ethel Dilouambaka

Earlier this month, Greece joined several European countries, including the Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, the Czech Republic and Spain, in legalising marijuana for therapeutic purposes. This revolutionary move now allows the medical community to use cannabis-based medicine to treat patients in need. In the context of the economic crisis and decaying health care system, could this new decision help Greece save money?

Loved by over 40s

When the Greek Ministry of Health announced the launch of a project on medical marijuana legalisation in Greece in 2016, many people saw a small glimmer of hope, and for good reason. In a country ravaged by economic woes and a health care system under strain, many Greeks can hardly afford the medicines they need. Armed with scientific studies and data from countries where medical cannabis is legal, the Ministry of Health submitted the potential health and financial benefits of legal medical marijuana.

As Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced last week, ‘[…] the country is turning its page, as Greece is now included in countries where the delivery of medical cannabis to patients in need is legal.’

Greece legalises medical cannabis

The new law will allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for a variety of illnesses, from glaucoma, PTSD and cancer to chronic pain, epilepsy and anorexia nervosa, and this could potentially also alleviate the burden on the weak Greek health system.

Of course, several administrative and regulatory measures still need to be implemented in Greece before formally putting medical marijuana in place, but this decision bodes well for many. Indeed, the potential local production and packaging of cannabis will provide a much-needed economic boost, as it would allow the establishment of a legal industry in the country.

Cannabis can be used for chronic and neuropathic pain

Greece imports a significant amount of its medicines, and medical spending stands at roughly 300 million euros, a cost that the EU has been trying to get under control. The EU has been pushing for Greece to use generic drugs – often seen inferior in quality than name-brand versions – as it would help contain the cost of medications. But the switch to generics has been slow, as pharmacists, doctors and pharmaceutical companies are afraid that their profits will plummet drastically. As such, medical cannabis could potentially be a new enemy.

Hopefully, Greece will do its best to draft a fair system where medical marijuana could thrive and satisfy the need of patients while also boosting the economy at the same time.

Greece spends roughly 300 million euros for medicine
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.