JSE-listed, Labat Africa Ltd is making moves to become a major player in the cannabis economy. The company has acquired a 75% stake in Leaf Botanicals Pty Ltd, a cannabis growing and cultivation facility and one of the first companies in South Africa to be issued with a cultivation and export license.
Labat Africa also recently announced that it has an agreement with global hemp and Cannabidiol (CBD) smokable brand, Ace and Axl.
In a statement, Labat CEO Brian van Rooyen said these latest business moves would make the company shift to a healthcare business that encompasses the entire cannabis value chain.
“We’ve recently made significant investments in healthcare, with a focus on the production of CBD pharmaceutical, health, and wellness products; as well as the growth and cultivation of European Union (EU)-compliant, high-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) containing Cannabis for the European medical industry,” van Rooyen said.
The company said Leaf Botanicals, located in Upington, Northern Cape, is best known for its association with Carpe Diem. Established in 1932, Carpe Diem is one of the largest growers and exporters of organic table grapes, raisins, and pecans in South Africa.
“Leaf Botanicals currently has a one-hectare cannabis grow cultivation space and a 300sqm, South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA)-licensed processing facility, which is fully compliant with the World Health Organisation’s Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP) guidelines for medicinal plants, as well by the United States (US) Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations,” it said.
According to the company, as part of Labat’s strategy, Leaf Botanicals will focus on producing high-quality medical-grade cannabis flowers for the export market.
Van Rooyen said that Labat intended to establish an indoor grow facility by GACP and GMP specifications, to produce high-quality medicinal-grade cannabis that would service its pharmaceutical off-take in Europe.
The company also said it had plans to develop an EU-compliant 8000m² indoor grow facility over three years, to meet its offtake commitments and serve the pharmaceutical market. “By the end of the final construction phase, the company will be able to deliver between eight and 10 tons of high-grade THC flower to the medicinal market,” the company said.
Through ACE Genetics (Africa Cannabis Enterprises – a 100% Labat-owned subsidiary), Labat concluded an exclusive distribution agreement with Ace and Axle, securing distribution rights in Africa for the next decade.
Van Rooyen said Ace and Axle, a US-based company, produces a premium grade hemp CBD smokable that would be launched in South Africa.
“In comparison with tinctures, inhaling has been found to increase the bioavailability of CBD, helping users to better reap the powerful healing benefits of this compound – without getting high,” van Rooyen said.
Van Rooyen said in addition to the distribution agreement, Labat will supply Ace and Axle with its worldwide requirements for hemp CBD smokables. “Labat will be utilising its newly acquired Leaf Botanicals facility to cultivate the raw materials under the guidance of van der Colff, regarded as one of the country’s leading farmers.”
“Through the Leaf Botanicals acquisition and Ace and Axle venture, we hope to extend our influence across every sphere of the sector, encompassing the full value chain to facilitate a holistic, self-sustainable Cannabis ecosystem,” Van Rooyen said.
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