Cannabis company Canopy Growth has bought a company based in the Southern African nation of Lesotho, which CEO Bruce Linton says is a gateway to the bigger market of South Africa, and potentially the African continent as a whole.
It’s the ninth country the Canadian firm is now operating in Linton said Thursday while speaking at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York.
Canopy Growth, which began trading earlier this month on the New York Stock Exchange, bought Daddy Cann Lesotho PTY Ltd., which trades as Highlands.
While the company is based in Lesotho, Linton said in an interview that the intended market is primarily South Africa, which surrounds Lesotho. South Africa has a population of about 56 million.
The two countries have “a very close relationship in terms of trading proximity, highway structure, so our intent is to do business there (in South Africa)” as well as in Lesotho, Linton said.
“In South Africa you can actually access medical cannabis, it’s just not all that easy and it’s not all that cheap,” Linton said. “What we want to be able to do is to service those two markets from that geography and expand our licenses … When you look at it, that’s a great market…. It’s an entry point to a geography.”
Highlands already held a license to cultivate, manufacture, supply, hold, import, export and transport cannabis and its resin, the company said.
Lesotho is a mountainous kingdom that gets over 300 days of sunshine per year, which also made it a good place if Canopy Growth decides to expand its growing operations there, Linton said.
Lesotho was also the first African nation to legalize medical cannabis when it did so last year.
“You go where they’ll take you, and you go where the public policy permits it,” Linton said.
Canopy Growth, based in the Canadian province of Ontario, began trading earlier this month on the New York Stock Exchange, the first marijuana-touching company to do so.