But a lack of industrial infrastructure and funds makes it’s hard for small-scale farmers to turn a profit, Sciences says. Halo Lab’s latest investment in Lesotho follows those of some of the world’s largest cannabis companies in the country in recent years. Last year Canada-based Supreme Cannabis invested $10m in another of Lesotho’s licensed producers Medigrow.
In June last year Canadian Canopy Growth Corporation also snapped up Lesotho’s Daddy Cann company for $28.8m. The company has a license to cultivate, manufacture, supply, store, import, export, and transport cannabis and cannabis resin. In 2017 US-based Rhizo Sciences partnered with Medi Kingdom Holdings to build a $45m medical cannabis export facility in the country.
Marijuana is currently illegal in Lesotho, but in 2017 the government granted its first license to allow a company to grow medical cannabis. This year the government also awarded licenses for the cultivation, processing, and sale of medical marijuana, and are currently laying the regulatory and legal groundwork to legalise exportation in an effort to become the continent’s leading producer and exporter of legal cannabis.
The cannabis grown in Lesotho and other parts of the continent is “probably produced for the African and regional market, because at the moment there’s such high barriers to entry into exporting in Europe or north America,” Eoin Keenan a consultant at Prohibition Partners told African Business.