Cannabis gone global: first ever medical cannabis shipment sent to Canada from Africa

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

A milestone move in medical cannabis has been made by a company in Africa’s southern region. On March 26, an 850-gram shipment of medical cannabis was released from the mountainous country of Lesotho to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Anandia Labs, a leading cannabis biotech company, is currently anticipating the arrival of the first medical cannabis shipment to be delivered from the land-locked country. The shipment is an indication of the increased globalization of the medical cannabis industry over the last few years. It will be the first shipment of its kind to ever come out of Africa.

Africa’s medical cannabis deal was secured in the U.S.

Rhizo Sciences is, in large part, to thank for the confirmed shipment. Based in Seattle, the U.S. company told Marijuana Business Daily how the medical cannabis will be used for research and development purposes in Canada.

An off-take agreement involving Medi Kingdom led to the securement of this deal.

Once Anandia Laboratories conducts analytical testing on the medical cannabis (for which the client remains unknown) a Certificate of Analysis will be produced. With this certificate, R&D can push forward.

The president and co-founder of Rhizo, Dallas McMillan, sees the deal as part of his plan to provide Canada’s cannabis companies with vertically integrated medical cannabis.

“These exports demonstrate our production and export capability, so we can open the channels for our commercial production later in the year,” McMillan said.

He went on to say how Canadian buyers are already lining up to purchase medical-grade plants. However, business deals cannot resume properly until a certified lab can supply a Certificate of Analysis.

Who is Medi Kingdom?

Medi Kingdom is the first and biggest licensed medical cannabis producer in all of Africa.  By collaborating with Rhizo Sciences, the African medical cannabis producers can now meet a swell in international demand.

Initially, Medi kick-started their medical cannabis crop cultivation back in 2016.

The company plans to expand their $45 million Lesotho facility to 400,000 square-feet with help from Rhizo Sciences.

A pharmaceutical-grade extraction and manufacturing plant will be contained within the export facility, as well as climate-controlled greenhouses.

Africa is capitalizing on the green rush at the right time

Considering the favorable climate and cheap labor costs, Africa was going to start producing cannabis at some point or other. Although the political climate may not be as desirable as the weather, things are changing.

Late last year, Lesotho announced that it would become the first African COUNTRY to legally grow cannabis with a license.

Investors from Canada are very interested in Lesotho’s medical cannabis market, including Supreme Cannabis. This company will invest $7.7 million USD in Medigrow Lesotho.

A Capetown extraction company, Verve Dynamics, is also getting on-board. The phytoextraction specialists strive to export hemp and cannabis from their South African facility. Africa has the potential to “produce large volumes of high quality, low-cost cannabis and hemp due to its expertise in high altitude cultivation,” the company said.

Since the African government had not previously assumed the same attitude to cannabis legalization as the rest of Europe and the Americas, Lesotho’s recent shipment is most certainly a breakthrough for the country.

Examples of other African countries that are in the process of reforming medical cannabis laws include Ghana, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.