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Growing cannabis in a socially responsible way, in Zimbabwe

There are many things to take into consideration when setting up a medical cannabis operation. First of all, the regulations in effect in a specific country, and then, of course, the operational cost. The cannabis industry is very cash-intensive, therefore companies need to be extremely efficient if they want to thrive within this highly regulated sector. These are just a few of the reasons why Eco Equity, a UK medical cannabis company, decided to start operating in Zimbabwe. “Zimbabwe legalized medical cannabis around May of last year,” says Jon-Paul Doran, CEO and co-founder of Eco Equity. “What they have been able to achieve in a relatively short time is just fantastic. They have made a very diligent regulatory framework and process of application for selecting companies. All of this was mainly made possible by the Minister of Health, who is a doctor himself and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to the benefits of medical cannabis both for patients and the economy.”

A socially responsible business model
However, the decision to start operating in Zimbabwe was also dictated by personal reasons. “I was born there,” says Jon-Paul. “Then, I moved to the UK when I was 6. Therefore, I wanted to go back to my country of origin and contribute to its growth. That is why our business model is extremely socially responsible, and part of our mission is to support and empower the local community.”

The company has engaged with Dutch Greenhouse Company to build a 10,000 sq. ft. greenhouse where Eco Equity plans to grow the highest quality cannabis. “Our cultivation will be centered around flowers for the first 12-18 months,” Jon-Paul explains. “Once this is cash positive, we will have extraction done in-house. Currently, there are also agreements with a partner in the EU to supply them with our GMP certified products.”

Lower labor cost
One of the advantages of Zimbabwe is not only the very good regulatory framework, but also the lower cost of labor. “However, this must come with social responsibility,” says Jon-Paul. “We are carrying out our operation there because we also want to do something for the country itself and its community. We will engage with local schools and communities, giving them school supplies, and clothes, for instance. We want them too to benefit from our business, and from this expanding industry.”

The low operational cost will also enable Eco Equity to meet consumers’ needs, like providing them with high quality products at a lower price. “This is thanks to the low production cost,” Jon points out. “Zimbabwe is an awesome place to grow medical cannabis in. The weather is just perfect when it comes to growing in a greenhouse. On top of this, our hybrid greenhouse allows us a meticulous and thorough control over the climate, which is the most important thing when growing medicinal-grade cannabis.”

For more information:
Eco Equity
Tower 42, 25 Old Broad St, London, EC2N 1HN
[email protected]