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Cannabis producer set for high-stakes auction

Business

Staff Reporter

One of Africa’s largest outdoor cannabis-growing facilities, Lesotho’s Highlands Investment, formerly known as Canopy Growth Africa, is set to go under the hammer on November 22 in a high-profile auction at Wanderers Club in Johannesburg, South Africa, scheduled for noon.

Originally a wholly owned subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corporation, the world’s largest cannabis company by market capitalization headquartered in Canada, Highlands Investment saw a management buyout in 2020.

This buyout was led by a management team specifically chosen by Canopy Growth due to their expertise, industry knowledge, and understanding of the local business landscape.

Highlands Investment received one of the initial and most substantial licenses granted by the Lesotho government in 2017, permitting the cultivation, manufacturing, supply, import, and export of medical cannabis products, encompassing flower, oil, distillate, and isolate.

Establishing two operational sites, one at Kolojane and another near Moshoeshoe I International Airport, the company achieved a significant milestone in April 2020 by successfully harvesting and processing four tonnes of premium cannabis flower.

This product was then distributed globally to various companies for the production of medical cannabis items.

Highlands Investment holds agreements to supply high-quality, cost-effective THC and CBD medical-grade cannabis to firms across Australia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Additionally, it provides CBD oil and flower to regulated cannabis oil producers in the South African market.

In July 2021, the facility in Kolojane secured ISO 22000 certification, a global Safety Management System.

This certification signifies the implementation of a certified product safety management system at Highlands, reflecting the company’s commitment to safety and quality management in the cannabis sector, according to Mark Corbett, the Managing Director of Highlands Investments.

The auction includes the sale of the business, featuring 20 hectares of cannabis fields with various strains such as Moby Dick, Diet Durban, Cloud Walker, and Super Silver Haze.

The critical assets in the sale involve the cultivation license for up to 200 hectares of cannabis, a 60-year lease, and assorted infrastructure like a sophisticated processing and packaging facility, natural aquifer, mega boreholes, reservoirs, irrigation systems, and substantial CBD and THC biomass.

The acquisition of the 100 percent equity shares in Highlands presents an opportunity for a significant trade player or an informed investor to broaden their agricultural portfolio.

The business, situated in Lesotho, is renowned for its exceptional climate, ideal for cannabis cultivation.

While primarily designed for cannabis and hemp, its advanced machinery and processing capabilities also allow the cultivation of various genetic crops, including staples like barley, wheat, grain, sorghum, sesame, and biofuels.

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