LCC supports LP NedCann in North Macedonia

The Legal Cannabis Coalition (LCC) is a one-stop shop for a wide range of products and services for the expanding cannabis industry. With our 21 members and many years of experience in supporting cultivation, processing and product development, we work with clients around the world. One of the Licensed Producers where we provide the most broad range of support is NedCann, located in North-Macedonia. Read our story here.

Licensed cannabis producer NedCann is located in Ohrid, North-Macedonia, next to a beautiful lake and close to the mountains. CEO and founder Stephan van Gerven explains that he feels lucky to have found this location the site of a former car factory. Because a lot of heavy machinery once stood here, there are plenty of connections to electricity and water available in the area. EU candidate North Macedonia has low wages, a lot of people already work in agriculture, and cannabis even grows in the wild. In short, it is a perfect spot for large-scale cultivation of cannabis plants. After the country legalized medicinal cannabis in 2016, Stephan decided to move to Macedonia and set up one of the largest cannabis cultivation sites in Europe. Once the company complies with EU-GMP rules, most of the world market for legal cannabis will open up for NedCann products.

NedCann want to do more than just cultivating cannabis flowers and preparing medicinal oil. The company is also planning to develop new cannabis varieties, to offer seeds and clones to other licensed producers, and to start a research program in collaboration with local Universities. Next to the 100 cultivation rooms for standardized indoor cultivation, there are another 26 smaller cultivation rooms (total 1700m2) available for R&D projects. An office building of 2000 m2 has already been reserved for setting up the research centre, and the first connections with the University of Skopje have been made. Everyone is eagerly waiting for the start of cultivation, planned for later this year.

Stephan is happy to work with external partners to supply the skills and knowledge that NedCann is lacking at this stage of its development. As a result, several members of the LCC have been able to benefit from the LCC/NeCann connection. One of the external advisors of LCC member Koppert (integrated pest management) also works for NedCann and takes care of a smooth relationship with the local Government. Perfect Plants (tissue culturing) will provide standardized clones for NedCann’s cultivation program. ProPharma Group (regulatory affairs) is involved in obtaining GMP status for the entire production process. Other LCC members are discussing their potential involvement in R&D projects for the optimization of cannabis cultivation and processing, including Grodan (rockwool substrate), Oreon (LED lighting), Havecon (greenhouse design) and Cannabis-Drying (drying cabinets). Together, these partners are designing a 10.000m2 greenhouse for the cultivation of young cannabis plants, for export to LPs in other countries. LCC consultant Arno Hazekamp is involved in setting up a coherent and long-term research program.

Stephan himself has decades of experience with his favourite plant; as a grower, but also as the former owner of a Dutch coffeeshop. The current Mastergrower of NedCann, with 22 years of experience, once started his career under supervision of Stephan. It is clear that Stephan van Gerven knows a thing or two about the cannabis plant, but he doesn’t feel pressured by the rapidly developing legal cannabis market. He believes it will take years before most of the LPs will truly understand what GMP regulations mean for the quality and safety of cannabis products. And that is exactly where he wants to make the difference. To him, collaboration is key to reach that goal. And when everything works out as planned, expansion looms in Greece and in Asia. Plenty of reasons for the LCC to keep a keen eye on NedCann.