Lesotho introduced legislation to legalise the cultivation and use of medical cannabis in 2008 under the Lesotho, Drugs of Abuse Act.
Regulations for cultivation and extraction have been promulgated and the regulations for local use and distribution of medical cannabis / hemp products are being drafted. Both sets of regulations are modelled on the Canadian framework.
Lesotho is signatory to the three United Nations Conventions that regulate the international trade in narcotic substances, and is in regular contact with the International Narcotics Control Board (“INCB”) to ensure there is no diversion of product to illicit markets.
Amendments to the Act are being considered to regulate the cultivation of “hemp” under the more stringent “cannabis” framework.
Growing cannabis at scale requires sophisticated infrastructure to ensure the product ends up free of mold, mildew, bacteria, heavy metals and pesticides.
To avoid exposure to these harmful contaminants, it is best to grow cannabis / hemp in an environment where there has been no previous use of agricultural chemicals, in particular the previous and ongoing use of pesticides on the grow facility or within a 5km radius.
Lesotho’s pristine natural environment is very well suited to growing medical cannabis. It has an abundance of clean water, clean, dry mountain air and contaminant free soils.
CGI’s sites are situated at least 2,000m above sea level
Cheap hydro power and relatively low cost of employment drives low production costs – less than 20% of Canadian peer group.
Attractive fiscal terms – 10% manufacturing tax & no tax on dividends.