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LS: Investment grows in Lesotho's cannabis market

In May 2017, Lesotho became the first African nation to grant a licence to grow medical cannabis legally. The licence permits the manufacture, supply, export, and transport of medical cannabis and cannabis products from Lesotho, according to strategic cannabis consulting firm Prohibition Partners 2019 African Cannabis Report.

There are currently more than 20 licensed companies operating in Lesotho’s cannabis industry, Dallas McMillan the CEO of US-based Rhizo Sciences, and investors in Africa’s cannabis market tells African Business. “Estimating the size of the industry is a challenge, as so few people have licenses, and those that do vary from having no active operations through to large facilities but not sales to date,” says Dr. McMillan.

“As a result, the output of the industry is basically zero, but there would be hundreds of companies attempting to get licenses or engaged in other serious activity.

Currently, only large businesses can afford the hefty US $37,000 licence fee, marginalising small-scale farmers who are still cultivating it illegally, Prohibition Partners’ cannabis report says.

In response around 80 licenses have been issued to Lesotho nationals as part of a government drive to encourage local entrepreneurs to participate in the local medicinal cannabis industry, Louisa Mojela the CEO of Bophelo said.


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