Medical Cannabis: Out of Africa

Africa is one of the homelands of modern medical cannabis. Many of the most prominent medical cannabis genetics have African Ancestry, and names such as Durban Poison (South African), Malawi Gold, and Moroccan Hash are touchstones for cannabis geneticists. A treasure trove of landrace strains are still preserved around the continent harboring undiscovered medical cannabis genetics.

In recent years, though, Africa has been off limits for medical cannabis cultivation.

All that changed when Medi Kingdom Cannabis, worked with the Lesotho government regulators of the Mountain Kingdom to establish a legal framework for the cultivation and export of medical cannabis.

Medi Kingdom Harvested their first crop in 2017, and in March 2018 completed the cannabis equivalent of “selling ice to eskimos” importing a shipment of 10 packages of medical cannabis to Canada for testing.

The article below by Matt Lamers first appeared in the trusted MJ Business Daily website

In a first, Africa exports medical marijuana to Canada

A company in southern Africa has sent the first-ever shipment of medical cannabis from Africa to Canada, a milestone that illustrates the increasing globalization of the MMJ industry in recent years.

The medical cannabis was shipped from the landlocked nation of Lesotho on March 26 and is expected to arrive at its destination in Vancouver, British Columbia, in the coming days, Marijuana Business Daily has learned.

Seattle-based Rhizo Sciences, the U.S. company that has secured an exclusive off-take agreement with Lesotho-based producer Medi Kingdom, said the MMJ will likely be used for research and development in Canada after it receives a Certificate of Analysis from Anandia Laboratories.

Marijuana Business Daily received a copies of the import licenses issued by Health Canada.

The 850-gram shipment was also confirmed with Anandia. The Vancouver company said it will perform analytical testing on the MMJ on behalf of an unnamed client.

“These exports demonstrate our production and export capability, so we can open the channels for our commercial production later in the year,” McMillan said.Dallas McMillan, Rhizo’s president and co-founder, said his company is in talks to supply vertically integrated cannabis companies in Canada with medical cannabis.

“We have buyers in Canada lined up, but of course they all want a Certificate of Analysis (from a certified lab) before we can really even talk business.”

As the first African nation to legalize medical cannabis, Lesotho has drawn keen interest from international cannabis companies hoping to use it as a staging ground to meet demand in regional African markets and overseas.

Last week, Toronto-based Supreme Cannabis announced plans to invest 10 million Canadian dollars($7.7 million) in Medigrow Lesotho.

Meanwhile, licensed producer Verve Dynamics, an investee of Toronto-based Nuuvera, plans to grow both hemp and cannabis for export.

McMillan said one of the reasons Lesotho is getting so much international attention is because “we have strains they don’t have, which may have special interest.”

Countries in Africa with medical cannabis laws in the works include Ghana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

2018 African Medical Cannabis Shipments

Rhizo Sciences is currently negotiating further shipments with Canadian companies as well as other national interests.

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