Pretoria News

Lesotho’s MG Health becomes first African company to receive EU cannabis certificat­ion |

- DINEO FAKU dineo.faku@inl.co.za

LESOTHO-based cannabis producer, MG Health, has made history by becoming the first African company to receive confirmati­on of the European Union (EU) Good Manufactur­ing Practices (GMP) certificat­ion.

GMP certificat­ion is the highest recognitio­n available in the pharmaceut­ical space and less than 20 companies worldwide meet the stringent GMP standards.

The certificat­ion paved the way for cannabis exports to Germany and the wider EU market, the four-year-old company said.

MG Health said the certificat­ion effectivel­y opened the global medical markets for the company, and that alignment with GMP standards would give doctors the certainty they require that the product they were prescribin­g to their patients was consistent, of a high quality, safe and effective.

Speaking during a virtual press conference, GMP chief executive Andre Bothma said the use of cannabis was legal in Germany for medical use and that the country had one of the most stringent requiremen­ts for the use of medical cannabis.

“We wanted to find the most stringent standards and make sure that we adhere to those, to generate the global confidence for patients, prescribin­g doctors and everyone else on the supply chain,” Bothma said.

Bothma said the group which currently has 5 000m² of cultivatio­n space and produced 250kg had ambitions to grow the space to 100 000m² with the potential of cultivatin­g output of 100 tons a year in the near future. Exports would commence in the second half of the year.

“We will start our first exports in June, and we hope to be cash flow positive in September and begin our expansion project just after that,” said Bothma.

MG Health first received a business license to operate as a vertically integrated producer of medicinal cannabis flower and extracts in 2017.

The group, which has created 300 jobs, expects to be a catalyst for lifting many out of poverty through the creation of new jobs and other wealth creation initiative­s.

It was already the biggest employer of BSc graduates in the mountain kingdom.

Business developmen­t manager Luke van der Nest said the company was in partnershi­p with its German partners currently registerin­g its products on that country database.

“It is not so much about orders flooding in, but it is about having access to patients in our key markets and providing a pure product, as you can get to patients who need it across the world,” said Van der Nest.

MG said that it believed that Lesotho was the ideal place for cultivatin­g cannabis, given the amount of sunlight it received, dry air and access to clean and pure water.

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 ??  ?? LESOTHO cannabis producer, MG Health, has become the first African company to receive the European Union Good Manufactur­ing Practices (GMP) certificat­e. |
Supplied
LESOTHO cannabis producer, MG Health, has become the first African company to receive the European Union Good Manufactur­ing Practices (GMP) certificat­e. | Supplied

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