Canopy Growth Reaches Into Africa With Purchase Of Cannabis Company In Lesotho

Photo Credit: Tyler Anderson

Canopy Growth in Smiths Falls has extended its reach into Africa with the purchase of a cannabis company in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Canopy announced Wednesday the $28.8-million purchase of Daddy Cann Lesotho PTY Ltd. The facility is in a mountainous area that receives more than 300 days of sunshine a year, has ideal humidity and growing conditions for greenhouse cannabis and low operating costs, said Canopy in a release. “This places Canopy in a growth position to produce large quantities of high quality medical cannabis at a low cost.”

Lesotho is well positioned to supply medical cannabis for Southern Africa, said Canopy. The deal means the company now has a presence in nine countries on five continents.

Canopy and other big Canadian cannabis companies are racing to secure global deals as more countries legalize medical marijuana. They are buying cannabis companies outright or making equity investments in them as well as signing supply, licensing and distribution agreements.

Lesotho, which last year became the first African country to issue licences for the production of medical marijuana, is seen as a key opportunity. Farmers in the tiny landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa have long grown marijuana. It’s consumed domestically and exported illegally to South Africa. Pot is one of the country’s major cash crops.

Canopy isn’t the only Canadian cannabis country investing in Lesotho. In March, The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. purchased a 10 per cent stake in licensed grower Medigrow Lesotho for $10 million. The intent is to export cannabis oil made there to other countries, including Canada, as regulations allow, Supreme said in a statement.

Another leading Canadian company, Aphria, announced earlier this week a $4-million deal that will bring it a majority stake in another medical cannabis company in Lesotho, Verve Dynamics.

Canopy also announced it has obtained a licence for its 10th production facility in Canada. A joint venture with Les Serres Vert Cannabis Inc. in Quebec received a cultivation licence from Health Canada on May 25.

Canopy Growth has tripled its licensed growing space since the beginning of the year to 2.4 million square feet, says the company. It plans a total of 5.6 million square feet of production space to produce cannabis for both medical and recreational consumers.