By Edward Tsumele
An announcement this week, August 25, 2021, by The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGod) that the Ontario based cannabis company was handed a license to ship what it termed the “first legal cannabis flower to South Africa” is bound to raise eyebrows on the local cannabis industry.
Not that this was not expected in an industry that is slowly opening up, but for the fact that for a long time local cannabis businesses have been at pains to get the government to move fast in creating a legal framework that will see local operators get into the lucrative industry without obstacles. South Africa is currently at the stage of the National Cannabis Master Plan that is still being discussed at Nedlac and out of which a legal framework will be worked out.
A Canadian based online publication that has its origin in the early cannabis boom in that country, dating back to when cannabis was first legalised there, called The Deep Dive, see (https://thedeepdive.ca/the-green-organic-dutchman-ships-south-africas-first-legal-cannabis-flower/ quoted a company executive from T GOD on Wednesday this week, claiming that they had made their first shipment of medical cannabis flower to South Africa. This, the company claimed is after they got a license from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). SAHPRA is a regulator of anything that is regarded as medicinal in South Africa, aimed at primarily protecting the public from potential harm from uncertified and unlicensed ‘medical’ products. Medical cannabis falls into that category of regulated medicine, and currently no local producer is licensed to produce medical cannabis for the local market. Doctors under a provision from SAHPRA may however prescribe medical cannabis remedies, which have to be imported from overseas as there is no local company licensed to produce such medicine currently.
Now with the news that this international player, TGOD has been granted a license by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, this is set to put more pressure on the local authorities to fast track the legalization of the industry for the benefit of local cannabis entrepreneurs.
Cannabis Business Africa yesterday sought confirmation about the license that TGOD claims they got from SAHPRA to deliver the medical cannabis flower shipment. However by last night we had not got response from SAHPRA, and when we get it, we will update the story as this is a developing story.
”The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TSX: TGOD) announced today that it has completed its first international commercial shipment of cannabis flowers and other extracts. The export is destined for South Africa, marking the country’s first legally distributed cannabis flower at a commercial scale,” The Deep dive reported on Wednesday..
“We are confident that our in-country partner will continue to develop this nascent market and that TGOD’s portfolio of products will be well received by patients that have previously lacked access to legal, high-quality medical cannabis,” said the company’s CEO Sean Bovingdon. The website quoted the company spokesperson.
The Deep Dive website further reported that in fact TGOD was able to ship its products to South Africa after securing the approval of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority. And according Bovingdon, this is his company’s first shipment to South Africa and he hoped that more opportunities for his company would follow as the cannabis business opens up in the country.
The Ontario-based cannabis firm recently is said to have reported unaudited preliminary gross revenue of $11.7 million for the second quarter of 2021.
This is a developing story and Cannabis Business Africa will publish the update as soon as we get more information from SAHPRA.