The company House of Hemp have become the first to receive a Cannabis Cultivation License from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).
This represents a milestone in what is hoped will be a lucrative and innovative field, namely the medical cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) sector.
House of Hemp hope to build on existing medical research and further explore the potential of cannabis as a healing plant. Limited evidence suggests cannabis can reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and reduce chronic pain and muscle spasms. Further there is a growing body of evidence that various forms of cannabis could help in the treatment of epilepsy and seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), glaucoma, dementia, Alzheimers, autism, fibromyalgia and a range of auto-immune diseases.
A big part of the licensing process will be that it will enable cannabis researchers to take their work further and conclusively prove what medical benefits, if any, the plant yields.
House of Hemp hope to provide in depth data on how cannabis should be used to treat various conditions including data on standardisation and proper scientific formulation, dosage requirements and combinations of cannabinoids for medical purposes.
Afriplex, the backer of House of Hemp, has already developed four other Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API’s) that are proudly South African and popular in international markets. The company is responsible for popular weightloss aid Herbex.
“Afriplex and our strategic partner, House of Hemp, are extremely honoured to be associated with the first Cannabis License from SAHPRA,” says Danie Nel, Afriplex CEO. “The teams have worked tirelessly over the last seven years to ensure we meet not only local standards but also the legislative requirements and quality standards of international markets. Being the first in South Africa to receive this accreditation enables us to actively pursue expansion into the cannabis market locally and internationally.”
The company hopes to be well-placed to use their research to export medical marijuana products and treatments to new markets opened up by the legalisation of cannabis.
Nel says: “As new markets open up abroad, we will be able to export to any country that is legally allowed to buy the products. As demand grows, so will the economic development opportunities and the profit potential. Especially since South Africa offers a safe and stable business environment in sub-Saharan Africa, and as a gateway into the rest of Africa and abroad.”
The current global market for medical marijuana is estimated at
US$8.28 billion and is expected to reach US$27 billion by 2024.