In December 2017, Lesotho became the first African country to legalise the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The move to legalise the plant created a new sector for the country that is struggling with economic challenges.
The government believed that the cannabis sector could come in handy to boost the agricultural sector that was dwindling.
Since the business was legalised, Lesotho has been calling on international investors in both cultivations as well as processing.
The country has attracted huge investments in the sector and continues to attract more.
British-owned phytoextraction company, Verve Dynamic Ltd, joined hands with Lesotho businessman, Sam Matekane, to open a medical CBD processing venture in Lesotho, joining the growing list of investors in Lesotho’s Cannabis sector.
King of Lesotho, King Letsie III, was present at the official opening ceremony. The new company intends to process medical cannabis for global export, a move which will earn the landlocked country foreign direct investment.
Sam Matekane, the founder of MGC, said, “We are poised to become one of the lowest-cost producers of medical cannabis extracts in the world.”
The firm’s British founders claim the plant is set to produce more cannabidiol (CBD), a Cannabis extract which some say has extraordinary healing powers, than any other facility in the southern hemisphere.
Matekane said he is hopeful the investment will boost the country’s development “enabling our people to work towards a financially sustainable country for all.”
The African cannabis industry has the potential to make USD 7.1 bn annually by 2023, European-based cannabis market consultancy Prohibition Partners stated, but this could only be realised if major markets legalise medical and recreational cannabis.
Initially, Lesotho was known for the illicit production of large quantities of cannabis grown in the mountainous Kingdom to supply South Africa’s black market.
But due to the high cost of the license fee which is USD 37,000, small scale farmers, most whom cannot afford the fee, continue to engage in illegal business, Prohibition Partners’ cannabis report confirms.
Lesotho’s sunny, but not humid; chilly, but not too cold’s climate has been said to be perfect for growing the cannabis plant.
Featured Image Courtesy: Drugsinc.eu