Lesotho Legalizes Cannabis
Big news in Africa: Lesotho legalizes cannabis. A South African medical company based in the Western Cape is about to start cultivating cannabis for medical and scientific reasons. This is a unique community profit-sharing deal made with Lesotho’s Ministry of Health.
Verve Dynamics in a Win-Win Deal
Verve Dynamics will be the first ever marijuana manufacturing company in Africa to be allowed to grow and process cannabis. They will do so in a tiny country called Lesotho. Cannabis is already the main cash crop in this Mountain Kingdom. Farmers here know exactly what they are doing with the herb. They know where government is collaborating to lead the African industry in cannabis products and medicinal benefits.
Verve Dynamics obtained their license in September 2017. To date they have invested some R30 million into the first phase of the project. Verve Dynamics will also adhere to the country’s, and global, medical and narcotic regulations. This is in tune with the Lesotho Government’s Good Agricultural Practices and Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations.
Phases 1, 2 and 3
The aim is to first grow a bumper crop of cannabis and then to harvest the plant, according to Richard Davies of Verve Dynamics. The next step is to produce different cannabis products in the form of capsules, tinctures and others.
Verve Dynamics will test the demand for medical cannabis in terms of the African and overseas markets. They will then start Phases 2 and 3. This will see an extension of Phase 1 in proportion to the size of the public demand.
Lesotho Leads Cannabis Demand
Davies is hoping for a huge demand for cannabis products from Lesotho. A total of 70% of Africa’s cannabis is currently grown in Lesotho. The African market is developing. Verve Dynamics is the very first company to grow cannabis and produce superior medicinal products. The company is also the first to make a tranquilizer from Channa (Kanna or Kougoed), the succulent herb also known as Sceletium tortuosum. The Khoe Khoe community shares their Sceletium plants with Verve and they split the profits in this win-win situation.
World Class Natural Medicines
Verve Dynamics specialises in making extractions and isolates, nutraceuticals and afro-botanicals from indigenous plants. The Lesotho cannabis project is the next successful step in a company’s benefit-sharing outlook that also protects indigenous herbs.
Davies is convinced that the Lesotho Government is helping the country become a forerunner in the legalisation of cannabis and the formulation of cannabis products. They use high tech apparatus for abstraction of the oils within the cannabis plants. It is ironic that this mind-blowing technology is reaping rewards in the smallest country in Africa! The population is a mere 2 million.
Africa Waits in the Wings
Other African countries are starting to look at the benefits of growing cannabis as a lucrative crop. Their government representatives are presently assessing the low-THC version of hemp. And in Zimbabwe, a Canadian company has requested the government to give them a license to produce weed, or mbanje, as the locals call it.
But in South Africa, cannabis remains illegal. No one is permitted to grow, sell or smoke cannabis in South Africa. The USA has recognised that all African countries could start growing cannabis to take advantage of what seems to be an increasing acceptance of the plant as a medicinal drug worldwide.