Cannabis oil business on the rise in South Africa
But over the years, products that include cannabidiol (CBD) have become the norm across the world for their healing properties.
During the State of the Nation Address this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the government’s plan to formulate policy on the use of these products for medicinal purposes.
One company that has made headway is Goodleaf. The CBD wellness business was launched only last year.
“Our first dedicated CBD store was launched in Cape Town with the goal to bring the highest quality range CBD products to market.
“What we saw in the market were a lot of shops but quality was a key component for us and ensuring what was in the bottle was as beautiful and the same quality as what was outside of the bottle,” said Goodleaf founder Warren Schewitz.
The business was started with significant relationships and funding from Canada and with the help of Jonathan Katz, founder of Earthchild Clothing, who is one of the partners of the business, it has reached its goals effectively.
“We have a full complement retail team here, source cannabis from some of the leading retailers in South Africa; we are really focused on bringing the highest quality cannabis product to the market within the legal framework.”
With tight regulations to ensure safety and appropriate usage, Goodleaf has made sure to keep in line.
CBD and trace levels
“Not all CBD is created equal and certainly from our side we ensure the maximum daily stipulated dose of 20mg.
“Everything in our environments is labelled; we have a full-time general council on board and one of the leading cannabis lawyers in the country. Everything that we do is produced in an independent GMP facility under good manufacturing process, farmer-grade production.
“Everything is third-party laboratory tested,100% legal and it is batch tested, so you can trace your product and see the certificate on that exact batch.”
He added that the company tested for pesticides and metals “According to the law you have to have less than 0.01 % of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and our products comply with that.”
CBD is an anti-inflammatory, so it can be used for pain relief and known to be effective for anxiety, stress, PTSD, depression and sleep.
“It interacts with the serotonin reception of our brain and that promotes a lot of relaxation. We got a lot of positive feedback from our customers which is encouraging for us as an emerging brand.”
Schewitz said the World Health Organisation has listed CBD as a Schedule 0 substance.
“There are no negative side effects at these dosage levels so it is a receptive form of treatment for those conditions.
“All of our products have no psychoactive components.
“We test all we produce, ensuring it contains no THC. There are two predominant components in a cannabis plant - there are actually 113 cannabinoids - the two most familiar to us are THC and CBD.
“THC has the psycho-component that makes you high - all our products are tested to ensure we are in line with the stipulation, so if you had litres of our product you wouldn’t get high.”
Goodleaf has four stores, one in Cape Town and three in Joburg.
“We have about 20 different products ranging from cosmetics to topicals, creams, drops and we also have a full beverage line. Part of what we wanted to do is give consumers an entry point in experiencing the benefits of cannabis, ensuring it is accessible at all levels.
“As part of the range we have is the African Pure brand, and that is sold at leading retailers formulated for sportsmen, there’s kids drops and pets products for different life applications.”
Schewitz added that a big part of the business was the responsibility to educate people on cannabis.
“In our stores and online we have the largest repository of CBD data in South Africa in terms of study and analysis, so consumers can make an informed decision in this market, particularly where they’re inundated with a plethora of products.”
Schewitz said the cannabis industry was a chance for potential transformation for the South African economy.
“South Africa is uniquely placed to capitalise on this industry, due to having a variety of natural occurring strains of the plant, wealth of skills, industry leading genetic science and an excellent climate. It is time for South Africa to harness the opportunity in the cannabis industry.”