In 2018, cannabis was decriminalised for personal and private use in South Africa.
Whilst the exact details of what constitutes personal use are still to be legislated, the cannabis industry in the region continues to grow, with a recent deal a huge leap forward.
There’s even a cannabis culture magazine now, which showcases the potential that the South African cannabis and hemp industry has for foreign direct investment.
Yesterday, CBD wellness brand Goodleaf announced a R650 million deal with Highlands Investments, one of the first and largest growers of cannabis in Lesotho.
The Mail & Guardian reports:
Licensed in 2017, the company cultivates, manufactures and exports medical cannabis.
The almost R650-million deal between Goodleaf and Highlands Investments signals the formation of the largest vertically integrated cannabis operation in Africa. Under the terms of the deal, Highlands Investments shareholders will have 35% shareholding in the merged entity, with Goodleaf being the majority shareholder, at 65%.
That almost R650 million figure is a drop in the ocean compared to South Africa’s cannabis industry as a whole, which is estimated to be worth around R28 billion.
Along with CBD oils, Goodleaf also offers skincare topicals, vapes, powder sachets, and more.
Warren Schewitz, Goodleaf’s founder and chief executive, says South African consumers are becoming more discerning, but that our producers are able to consistently produce top-quality bud:
“You know, when I saw what was happening in more mature markets, I thought it was inevitable that it would come to Africa and South Africa. And [for] me, as a proud South African — Africa really is the home of cannabis. So what better place to start a cannabis company than in South Africa?”
There are still a few boxes to be ticked before a clear policy framework is implemented in the country, but once that happens, Schewitz believes that further investments in our cannabis industry will be forthcoming.
Earlier this week, figures from Stats SA showed that the number of unemployed people in the country was 32,6%, with the unemployment rate among the youth (15-34 years) at 46,3%.
If you use the expanded unemployment rate (this takes into account people who were discouraged from looking for work, or for having other reasons that stopped them from job searching), those figures increase to 63,3% for people aged 15-24 and 41,3% for those aged 25-34.
In other words, hurry up and unlock the cannabis industry in this country, because there really is no time to waste.
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