18 months ago it appeared that Lesotho might be one of the safer bets for investing in Cannabis in Southern Africa.Now we’d suggest a time of re-balancing politically in the country may mean stormy seas ahead for cannabis investors.
We’ve seen two reports in the last 24 hours that have started rining warning bells.
Both may not appear to directly impact growers / investors right now. But a quick read of the political climate post pandemic and we’d suggest caution is probably a good approach at the moment
CBD Testers report
Is Lesotho Selling Out Its Own Citizens to Ride the African Green Rush?
As 80% of the population subsists on farming, this influx of business is massive to Lesotho’s economy and people. In the past, agriculture had been an issue because of droughts and the mountainous geography of the country, a problem for a country that depends on it. And the influx of cannabis as a crop has helped alleviate a lot of farming issues as it grows perfectly in that geography.
But this doesn’t mean that the average resident can grow cannabis for themselves. That’s still illegal. The Drugs of Abuse Act of 2008 allows the Ministry of Health to give out licenses for cultivating cannabis, but does not permit the standard citizen to grow it legally. Even with the legislation, growing it at all wasn’t really a thing until a decade later when cultivating cannabis became the new big global investment game.
In the beginning, the licences were given out for free which gave locals the ability to use them. Now, the government charges ~ $37,000 for licenses which prices out standard residents. Even though many standard residents have their own illegal grow operations, they can only sell on the black market and cannot profit from the legal medicinal cannabis boom, while facing jail time if caught.
Also on the main political front things are looking decidely ropey and usually the way it’s done in this part of the world means that what ever deals there may have been in the past it looks like a round of re-negotiation is probably on the horizon after al of this settles down. At least the new guy used to work at the IMF.
Lesotho’s new PM sworn in after resignation, murder drama
Majoro comes in at the head of a coalition with the main opposition Democratic Congress. Speaking at his swearing-in by King Letsie III at the royal palace, he paid tribute to his predecessor.
Majoro, a former International Monetary Fund staffer, will see out the last two years of Thabane’s term. Elections are due in 2022.
The new prime minister promised to quickly take on some of the country’s major challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, high unemployment, poverty and climate change in these “trying times.”