Afriplex (Pty) Ltd has announced that one of their strategic partners, House of Hemp, has received their Cannabis Cultivation License from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). This is a historical milestone for South Africa to become an active and innovative player in the budding cannabis market, and marks a positive move forward by SAHPRA to encourage the development of the medical cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) sector.
A growing body of medical research both locally and globally points to the recognition of cannabis – and especially cannabidiol (CBD) use – for patients needing to manage diseases like cancer (and the side effects of chemotherapy), epilepsy and seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), glaucoma, dementia, Alzheimers, autism, fibromyalgia and a range of auto-immune diseases.
SAHPRA’s granting of the license sets in motion a process which will eventually see the standardisation and proper scientific formulation, dosage requirements and combinations of cannabinoids for medical purposes. It offers not only the opportunity to safely improve the lives of patients with life-challenging conditions, but also to enhance the general wellbeing of a larger community of patients struggling with more general ailments like pain, inflammation, appetite stimulation, sleep quality, nausea and asthma.
With the current global market value for medicinal cannabis estimated at USD 8.28 billion – and expected to reach USD 27 billion by 2024 – the medical cannabis industry has formidable economic development potential for South Africa.
“Afriplex and our strategic partner, House of Hemp, are extremely honoured to be associated with the first Cannabis License from SAHPRA,” says Danie Nel, Afriplex CEO. “The teams have worked tirelessly over the last seven years to ensure we meet not only local standards but also the legislative requirements and quality standards of international markets. Being the first in South Africa to receive this accreditation enables us to actively pursue expansion into the cannabis market locally and internationally.”
Established in 2001 with a strong focus on African indigenous plant extracts, Afriplex is currently one of the leading contract manufacturers of complementary medicines (CAMs) and health supplement products in the country. The company’s move into the cannabis market is a successful extension of the botanical offering that the business already has. Afriplex has already developed four other Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API’s) that are proudly South African based and which are popular in international markets.
Nel goes on to explain that for international investors and companies operating in the medical marijuana field, South Africa as a country of source poses many benefits: “As new markets open up abroad, we will be able to export to any country that is legally allowed to buy the products. As demand grows, so will the economic development opportunities and the profit potential. Especially since South Africa offers a safe and stable business environment in sub-Saharan Africa, and as a gateway into the rest of Africa and abroad.”
He adds that South Africa’s main export markets are expected to be Canada, the United States, the European Union, and a selection of African countries.