The Africa Independent reports,  South African company Verve Dynamics – which describes itself as a “vegan-friendly manufacturer of highly purified botanical extracts” – became the first company in Africa to have been granted regulatory approval to begin the process of “growing and producing high-quality cannabis extracts commercially”.

The licence relates to the cultivation, processing, and sale of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes.

IFP member of Parliament, Narend Singh, said the development was “a definite step in the right direction”.

https://www.africanindy.com/news/sa-company-cleared-to-grow-cannabis-for-use-in-lesotho-11211874

Although this seems to be now, we note that Verve issues the following press release back in June.

Verve Dynamics Inc. Receives First Licence in Africa to Produce Cannabis Plants for Medical and Scientific Purposes

MASERU, LESOTHO, June 9, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Verve Dynamics Incorporated (PTY) Ltd today announced that it has officially been granted one of two licences from the Ministry of Health for the cultivation, processing, and sale of Cannabis for Medical and Scientific purposes.

“Access to medicinal cannabis on the African continent has taken another major step forward today and Verve Dynamics is honoured to be the first company in Africa to have been granted regulatory approval to begin the process of growing and producing high quality cannabis extracts commercially” said Richard Davies.
The Government’s decision to move forward with this historic decision means that Lesotho will play a significant role in developing this industry, both locally and internationally, as well as establishing itself as a pioneer on the African continent with regards to state of the art extraction equipment.

Verve Dynamics Lesotho will be offering the same level of service and expertise that is offered by its sister company Verve Dynamics South Africa which includes the use of only GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) solvents in its Supercritical and Sub-critical extraction processes, as well as its traditional solvent extraction method using only cold Ethanol and high frequency cavitation. For the extraction of specific actives, a proprietary method has been developed using a medium pressure liquid chromatography (MPLC) instrument and only cold food grade solvents, which allows for isolation of even the most thermolabile compounds.

Verve also has on order the first purpose built molecular still with a rectification column specifically designed for the selective recovery of terpenes and other aromatic volatiles specific to Cannabis. “We will make this equipment and services available to our partners in Africa on a toll basis as long as both the legal and regulatory approvals have been met” says Richard. “By doing this we empower even the poorest country by processing their material under strict cGMP conditions, thus allowing them to compete on the international market with a 1st world product without the related costs of prohibitively expensive equipment and highly skilled personnel.”

Verve will officially start their project in July 2017 by growing only high Cannabidiol (CBD) containing Sativa strains but may explore other varieties once they’ve established themselves within the market. “As with our existing botanical extracts we are not bound simply to Phyto-genetics” says Richard. “We currently have the expertise to remove or replace compounds as per our customers’ requirements so as to meet their specific and/or desired outcomes – an obvious advantage over our competitors when working with natural products and a significant opportunity for suitable investment partners!”

In addition to its location and ideal microclimates, Lesotho is one of the most economically advantageous countries in the world to produce large volumes of high quality, low cost Cannabis and Hemp due to its expertise in high altitude cultivation, a knowledgeable and skilled labour force, and supportive forward-looking Government.

Verve was subject to the necessary fit and proper person process and security tests associated with processing a Prohibited Drug Operator licence application, resulting in a number of government departments undertaking a rigorous on-site security assessment of their South African facility, operating procedures, as well as their academic and industry partners.

It is anticipated with current trends and additional investments into their new facility, Verve Dynamics will ensure a steady stream of foreign investment into Southern Africa via a truly remarkable and understated renewable resource.