South African cannabis company Leaf Botanicals has obtained a license to grow organic medical cannabis for export to Canada. The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) was the agency that issued the license.
Leaf Botanicals, which is headquartered in Northern Cape, has worked on securing government approval for three years. The company has signed an agreement with Canadian cannabis producer Agrotiva Ltd. ahead of getting the green light to cultivate the plant.
The company worked in conjunction with SAHPRA to comply with South African and global production standards.
Leaf Botanicals is one of only three companies that have received a cultivation license from SAHPRA. The first one to get a license to produce medical cannabis is House of Hemp, which is backed by Afriplex.
Cannabis in South Africa
Cannabis has been decriminalized for personal adult consumption in South Africa. However, laws prohibiting the use of the drug outside of one’s home, as well as the buying and selling of cannabis, are still in place.
Meanwhile, the use of cannabis for medical purposes is currently only recognized to aid patients suffering from multiple sclerosis and chronic pain.
Advocates are hoping that SAHPRA’s granting of licenses and certain other regulatory changes will fuel additional research pertaining to the broader therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Until now, the heavy regulation of the drug has meant that even if more evidence of its medicinal benefits surfaces, there would be no market for it.