The Lesotho cannabis company and farm, MG Health, has been approved to cultivate and export medicinal marijuana as an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to the European Union. The company was successfully certified by meeting the EU’s good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards with the approval officially granted at the end of March 2021.
MG Health has been operating a cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facility since 2017 and has been greatly supported by Lesotho’s progressive cannabis cultivation laws, being one of the first countries in Africa to legalise the cultivation and use of medical cannabis in 2008.
MG Health operates a 5,000 sqm greenhouse, fitted with internal climate, temperature, humidity and lighting controls. The company grows, trims and cures up to 250kg of medical-grade cannabis every month. MG Health plans is to increase this output to 100 tons of cannabis flower per year using a cultivation area of 160,000 sqm.
According to MG Health, its product is of “superior quality” due to the altitude at which their cannabis is grown and the nutrient-rich water obtained from the nearby Senqunyane River.
MG Health’s first exports are expected to go directly to Germany which has the highest usage of medicinal cannabis in Europe. “We’ve followed a process with our partners in Germany in registering an extension to their narcotic licensing to include our products and we need to get the necessary import and export documentation before we can begin our first shipments,” explains Luke van der Nest, MG Health’s business development manager.
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“They’re one of the strictest regulators. We wanted to find the most stringent standards and make sure that we adhere to those, to generate that global confidence for patients, prescribing doctors and everyone else along the supply chain.”
Van Der Nest says the company is also keeping a close eye on developments in South Africa, which recently announced a new cannabis master plan to commercialise the local industry, but says MG Health has no intention of uprooting its operations in Lesotho, “Lesotho is our home and we’re very happy here,” says Van der Nest.
“We’ve got a great relationship with the regulators here, do a lot for the local community and look to grow the business here. So, at the moment, we’re fully focused on Lesotho. We obviously watch South Africa very closely and we hope to see regulations, in terms of medical prescriptions, ease so we can start to serve patients throughout the continent.”
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