Thu. Nov 21st, 2019

Here’s how to become a medical marijuana supplier in South Africa

medical marijuanaIf you’ve ever wanted to grow and export medical marijuana, and have R6 million to spare, there is a South African company with a solution for you.

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A South African company, Canbigold, is growing medical marijuana in shipping containers for export and you can buy one.

Medical marijuana containers

CanbiGold began its operation with a license to cultivate and export medical marijuana in Lesotho.

They started with a typical indoor growing operation inside a large facility but soon became bogged down by red tape.

“We struggled to get certification for the setup we had. We started to look at more modular set-ups,” said Armand Redelinghuys, operations manager at CanbiGold.

“If you can’t get the certification you have to break it down and do it all over again. The guidelines are very strict.”

And so the idea for shipping container grow rooms and a more modular business model was born.

The benefits of containers

Affectionately known as ‘fortresses’ by the company, the containers do far more than allow them to get licensing in Lesotho.

Growing anything in a smaller environment gives you much more control over the quality of the product and what it is introduced to during crucial phases of its growth cycle.

“Your pest control is a lot easier. That was one of the aims of the fortress. The only thing that goes into it is purified air and water. We try and eliminate any form of fungi or pest from getting in,” Redelinghuys added.

Why Lesotho?

Cultivating, growing marijuana for personal use was effectively made legal by a Constitutional Court ruling in 2018. So it seems a bit convoluted to have a growing operation in another country.

Redelinghuys explained to The South African that they were already well along their licensing journey when the ruling was passed in South Africa.

And even then, the ruling had nothing to do with medical marijuana and potentially exporting it.

“This was the easiest way of doing it. It was easy enough to get a license to grow in Lesotho and export to our clients,” he explained.

“The first license in Cape Town has only issued three weeks ago. For us to apply for licenses now, we wouldn’t be sure if we would get a license in the next 12 months so we just decided to stick our guns in Lesotho.

Buying a medical marijuana fortress

Now that the scene is set, down to the good stuff: How to get involved and buy a container to grow and export medical marijuana.

Because the growing operation is inside a structure that was literally designed to be carted all over the world, CanbiGold is able to take the containers to the client.

“It is a modular business model so fortresses can be taken to whoever and wherever the client chooses,” Redelinghuys said.

Don’t get excited just yet though, getting your hands on a weed-growing container will cost in the region of R6 million.

It sounds like a lot, but with Redelinghuys’ predictions that the container will produce 25kg per of product per year worth in the region of R5.6 million, the return on investment seems quite enticing if you have the money to start with.

Leaving it in Canbigold’s hands

There is a catch. If you take delivery of a fortress and grow on your own land, licensing and finding people to export to will be your problem.

Applying for a license would be helped by the fact that the containers comply with all rules and regulations stipulated by the South African law, but it would likely still be quite an arduous process.

Thankfully there is a work-around.

“If they wish to do so, we allow clients to grow on our land and partake in our agreements, but they are free to do whatever they want with their product.”

This would appear to be a much simpler solution for most parties. Especially after Redelinghuys revealed CanbiGold already has contracts to export to both Australia and Canada.

However, anyone hoping to get hold of a fortress to sell locally or for other nefarious means will probably come up short.

“If you own a fortress, you will have access to the fortress, but all the plants through the entire process are tracked so no stock will ever get lost,” Redelinghuys concluded.

If you are interested in finding out more about how the Fortresses work, click here.

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