Southern Africa becomes magnet for Canadian medical cannabis investments

southern africa medical marijuana, Southern Africa becomes magnet for Canadian medical cannabis investments

Canada’s largest medical marijuana companies are ponying up tens of millions of dollars to get a piece of southern Africa’s burgeoning MMJ market.

Lesotho, a tiny landlocked nation in the region, aims to become a supplier of MMJ and ancillary services to other countries where laws are in the works – such as Ghana, South Africa, Zambia and Swaziland.

Roughly 40 million Canadian dollars ($31.1 million) has been invested in Lesotho by Canadian marijuana companies so far this year.

This week, Aphria and Canopy Growth announced additional investments in southern Africa.

Canopy Growth acquired Daddy Cann Lesotho PTY, known as Highlands, for CA$28.8 million in stock, the company announced Tuesday.

Highlands holds licenses to cultivate, manufacture, import, export and transport cannabis.

Aphria will take a 50% interest in CannInvest Africa, a joint venture it set up with South Africa-based Verve Group. As part of the deal, CannInvest Africa will acquire Verve Group’s 60% ownership interest in Verve Dynamics, a licensed producer of medical cannabis extracts in Lesotho.

The transactions together are valued at CA$4.1 million. Aphria and Verve Group will each own an equal share (30%) of Verve Dynamics.

“In addition to Lesotho, a number of African countries have or are in the process of changing their legislation and regulation to introduce licenses related to medical cannabis,” Antonio Costanzo, head of international development for Aphria International, told Marijuana Business Daily.

“Zimbabwe was recently in the media as the second country to introduce a licensing model, and we believe other countries will follow suit shortly.”

Earlier this year, Toronto-based Supreme Cannabis said it planned to invest CA$10 million for a 10% stake in Medigrow Lesotho.

Aphria and Canopy Growth are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols APH and WEED, respectively. Supreme is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange as FIRE.

Matt Lamers can be reached at

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