Lesotho Launches World-First Cannabis-Centred Special Economic Zone

Cannabiz Africa reports

Lesotho has launched its first Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the first in the world that is centred around cannabis.

Canadian-owned Bophelo Bioscience and Wellness is the founding developer in the Mafeteng Special Economic Zone, created to attract investors in agriculture and pharmaceutical industries.


Lesotho’s PM launches SEZ from cannabis facility

Lesotho’s Prime Minister, Dr Moeketse Majoro and six cabinet members visited Bophelo on 19 May 2021 where they met Louisa Mojela, Bophelo’s founder and now chairperson of its Toronto-based owners, Halo Collective. Halo founder Andreas Met has relocated from Canada to oversee Bophelo’s operations. It has ambitions of being the biggest medical cannabis cultivation facility in the world.


Lesotho’s Prime Minister takes a sniff of his country’s best medical cannabis


Met, who is now Bophelo’s MD of Managing Director of Bophelo said “It was a great honor to show our accomplishments—and specially to introduce our young Basotho leadership team, including Moeti Marai and Puleng Mabula.  It’s incredible to be working hand-in-hand with a national government that shares our mission and fully supports the cultivation of medicinal cannabis as a key industry, understanding the huge positive impact cannabis can make in peoples’ lives as both a medicine and an economic driver wealth creation for the people of Lesotho.”

Halo and Bophelo are expected to receive both Good Manufactures Practices (“GMP”) and Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (“GACP”) certifications from the quality growing and manufacturing consultant, Pharmaconsulta Ltd., following multiple site visits and a comprehensive review of the company’s standard operating procedures. With the addition of these certifications, the company will be able to supply the European market with sun-grown quality cannabis and further invest in African economies and provide growing support for the people of these communities.

Mojela said: “Bophelo is committed to developing young talent through the creation of much-needed jobs, transfer of skills, and enterprise development. I am personally committed to creating a company that has strong environmental, social and corporate governance (“ESG”) principles.”

CEO of Halo, Kiran Sidhu, states: “We have remained committed to building a strong relationship with Lesotho over the past few years, we have tried a lot of different cannabis strains over the past two years and gained valuable knowledge to be able to produce very profit-oriented cannabis flower on a large scale.”

Sidhu continues: “We are thrilled to be a part of Lesotho’s economic growth and additionally to create work and learning opportunities for young people. This program will only grow with the GACP certification and remains our stated priority.”


Establishment of Lesotho’s First SEZ and the First in the World to Include Cannabis

Bophelo is the first cannabis business globally to be part of a special economic zone that brings significant benefits. SEZ is an area where the business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country, located within a country’s national borders aiming to increase trade balance, employment, investment, job creation, and effective administration. To encourage businesses to set up in the zone, financial policies are introduced. These policies typically encompass investing, taxation trading, quotas, customs, and labor regulation.  Additionally, companies may be offered tax holidays, where upon establishing themselves in a zone, they are granted a period of lower taxation.

Read more at  https://www.cannabiz-africa.com/lesotho-launches-world-first-cannabis-centred-special-economic-zone-canadian-owned-bophela-biosience-is-founding-developer/?mc_cid=9a7a55b970&mc_eid=ffca6542f9

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