EU clears Lesotho company MG Health to export cannabis flower for medical purposes
Lesotho start-up MG Health has become the first African cannabis grower to obtain EU permission to export cannabis flower for medical purposes – which can range from chronic pain relief to treatment of spasms caused by multiple sclerosis.
Lesotho has pioneered the nascent legal cannabis sector and has helped its development in Africa and could be worth more than $ 7.1 billion a year by 2023 if new laws are concluded, according to the African Cannabis Report two years ago.
Launched in 2017, MG Health has its modern cultivation and treatment facilities in a secluded location some 2,000 meters above sea level in mountainous Lesotho, which is completely surrounded by South Africa.
MG Health CEO Andre Bothma has declared that the company had received certification to export cannabis flower as an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) under the EU Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) protocol.
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“This means that we have the authorization to export our products as APIs to Germany and to the European market at large. We hope to start in June, ”he said on the sidelines of a media event with his Munich-based importing partner, Drapalin Pharmaceuticals.
Besides the EU and Germany, Bothma said they also plan to enter the UK and Australian markets.
An increasing number of countries around the world are legalizing or relaxing cannabis laws as attitudes toward the drug change. Among them are several African countries, such as South Africa, Rwanda, Morocco and Malawi.
MG Health currently produces around 250 kg of packaged cannabis flowers per month on a pilot production area of 5,000 square meters. As soon as exports begin, another 10,000 m2 greenhouse area will be added, officials said.
“Our contract is for a minimum of two tonnes for the first year,” Bothma said.