The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) recently opened the door to medical marijuana production.
The SAHPRA has granted three licenses to companies to grow medical marijuana for research purposes, local use and export.
House of Hemp backed by Afriplex received the first license to produce medical marijuana by SAHPRA earlier this year. Now, Leaf Botanicals have signed an agreement to export locally-grown cannabis to Canada.
While there is a lot of anecdotal evidence of marijuana being a panacea, there is still surprisingly little evidence to back the many claims. Marijuana is currently only recognised to aid in patients with chronic pain and multiple sclerosis in South Africa at the moment.
Changes in regulation and the granting of licenses by SAHPRA will hopefully fuel additional research to ascertain what medical benefits if any marijuana provides. Until now, the heavy regulation of cannabis has meant that even if benefits could be proved, there would be no market for it.
Leaf Botanicals will be supplying Agrotiva Ltd. with organic marijuana. Agrotiva is a fully-licensed Canadian cannabis producer.
Marijuana use is being deregulated for personal and medical use in many countries around the world, presenting exciting opportunities for the South African economy. Leaf Botanical’s Johannes Van der Colff said on 702:
“You must remember that this is a capital-intensive business and it will create a lot of work opportunities for our current environment and communities.”
Leaf Botanicals worked in conjunction with SAHPRA to adhere to South African and Global production standards with their facility located in the Northern Cape.
Van der Colff is an experienced commercial farmer, having won the Agri SA/Toyota SA Young Farmer of the Year award in 2011.
He’s excited about the opportunities in this space as marijuana use begins to lose its a historical stigma:
The perceptions around it [dagga] are changing…
Johannes van der Colff, CEO – Leaf Botanicals