Lesotho already has a rich traditional, artisanal history of cultivating and using cannabis, which dates back decades. However, commercial expertise from the presence of global investors like WeGROW is important for the ultimate transfer of medical cannabis skills and standards to locals. It’s impractical for Lesotho citizens to do away with foreign expertise in a hurry.
“Medical cannabis is regulated to similar standards as pharmaceuticals especially in Europe. Cultivation, processing, extraction, formulation requires rigorous thresholds of consumers safety. That requires a broad range of skills that we still need to develop at scale across Africa,” says Nitsan Nadel, WeGROW’s regional director.
Lesotho’s budding success with cannabis, especially medical cannabis, is not an outlier in Africa. Other governments are backing the sector too and aspire to export cannabis from Africa.
- On 12 May, Zimbabwe repealed a law that required shared ownership between government and private investors in the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use. Cannabis investors in Zimbabwe can now own and operate 100% of their investments, the country trade commission announced.
- In Malawi, this week, the government signaled its intention to increase subsidies for cannabis cultivation. The goal is to diversify away from tobacco.
- If rules continue to be liberalised, the industry of legal cannabis in Africa could be worth $7.1bn by 2023, Reuters estimates.
Lesotho’s medical cannabis industry has grown in many areas, last month, Lesotho became the first country in Africa to be granted a license by the European Union to export medical cannabis to Europe. WeGROW as one of Lesotho’s top medical cannabis producers, is on the path to satisfy the EU’s good manufacturing thresholds to export cannabis flower, oil and extracts into the EU.