Spotlight on speculative cannabis license holders

NEO SENOKO

MASERU – Minister of finance Dr Moeketsi Majoro has expressed concerns over some medical cannabis license holders in Lesotho who he said are ignorant about the entire industry.

Majoro revealed last week that while around 50 licenses have already been issued, many of those that are in possession of the licenses do not know anything about the industry.

“So far 50 licenses have been issued but many people do not know what to do with the cannabis though they have licenses.

“They are holding licenses so that they can sell to other people who have full knowledge about the industry,” Majoro noted on Wednesday last week during a dinner held by Nedbank Lesotho in honour of its visiting regional boss.

He went on to describe the budding local cannabis industry as a very powerful secondary market, urging those who get the opportunity to operate in the industry to use it wisely.

“This industry is a very powerful secondary market at the moment. Those who are in the industry should also do something for local communities. Communities and development integration is important as well as contributions towards education in the country,” Majoro added.

During the announcement of the 2019/20 budget allocations Dr Majoro said that government has tapped into a new emerging agricultural market. At that time only one company, Medigrow Lesotho, was already at advanced stages of production.

Minister of Health Nkaku Kabi raised similar concerns to those of Majoro earlier this year, citing that companies that have been offered licenses but do nothing on the ground will not have their licenses renewed.

One of the major challenges have been that it is very capital intensive to operate in the industry and many people are struggling to kick-start their projects.

In the case of Medigrow, the company revealed earlier that they have spent close to M300 million just to set up the structure out in Marakabei, including hiring expertise. More money will be spent as the company expands.

At full capacity, the company is expected to employ more than 1000 Basotho.

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