Move over, merlot! Shove off, chardonnay! The humble herb is coming to claim the Cape Winelands.
Local company Neo Pharm (Pty) Ltd has just announced it will be building a brand new state-of-the-art cannabis production facility in Franschhoek.
The building will cost R60 million straight off the bat, with a further R80 million investment after the first year and half. That’s no small change, and it’s all dedicated to growing indoor cannabis of the highest possible quality for medicinal uses and research, according to Mark Marcon, Neo Pharm’s CEO.
“Pharmaceutical-grade cannabis will be grown for conversion into medicinal cannabis oil for export to the USA,” Marcon said. “The company is also focused on the research and development of novel cannabinoid-based treatments for chronic pain as well as several central nervous system disorders, including fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.”
Until it’s legal to commercially buy and sell cannabis containing THC here in South Africa, unfortunately all the fruits of our local THC cannabis industry have to be for export only.
Neo Pharm already has a 6000 square metre plot of land earmarked for the development of a cannabis training facility for future employees. They will also be conducting research together with the Cannabis Research Institute of South Africa. According to The South African, they are just waiting for approval from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) to commence production.
This is great news not just for our emerging cannabis economy, but also for all the workers who stand to be employed by this development.
According to Peter Mons, a senior member of the Neo Pharm Project Management Team, Franschhoek was chosen because of its reputation for excellent agricultural opportunities. By the end of it’s development, this project will provide around 80 jobs for workers from the Franschhoek valley.