US cannabis oil and concentrates manufacturer Halo Labs has announced plans to buy one of Lesotho’s largest cannabis producing companies for $18.4m (M216m). Under the deal Halo will acquire 100% of shares in Bophelo Bioscience & Wellness and will take over production of their 5-hectare cultivation and production site. Once fully operational, Bophelo’s 5 hectare site plans to produce almost 5,000 kgs of cannabis worth around $46m annually.
Lesotho’s high-altitude climate and low-cost labour and land make the country fertile ground for the continent’s budding cannabis industry. In May 2017, Lesotho became the first African nation to grant a licence to grow medical cannabis legally. The licence permits the manufacture, supply, export, and transport of medical cannabis and cannabis products from Lesotho, according to strategic cannabis consulting firm Prohibition Partners 2019 African Cannabis Report.
There are currently more than 20 licensed companies operating in Lesotho’s cannabis industry, Dallas McMillan the CEO of US-based Rhizo Sciences, an investors in Africa’s cannabis market tells African Business. In response around 80 licenses have been issued to Lesotho nationals as part of a government drive to encourage local entrepreneurs to participate in the local medicinal cannabis industry, Louisa Mojela the CEO of Bophelo told African Business from Lesotho.