CAPE TOWN, July 16, 2019 – Felbridge, a company incorporated in the Republic of South Africa, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a license to cultivate, import and export cannabis by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (“SAHPRA”).
The license, awarded on the 10th July 2019, covers an existing 140,000 ft2 greenhouse facility located in the Western Cape region of South Africa and is expected to produce approximately 20 metric tonnes of dried cannabis products per annum at full production. The company has identified an additional 400,000 ft2 greenhouse area for future expansion.
Felbridge, along with its associate group companies operating in the agricultural sector, currently employ in excess of 550 employees and operate from five locations in the Western Cape region of South Africa with the designated cultivation site being conveniently located 25km from Cape Town International Airport.
Leslie Zetler, CEO of Felbridge, commented “Being awarded our license from SAHPRA represents a major milestone for the company and reinforces our confidence in the benefits that medicinal cannabis holds as a viable natural alternative to conventional medicines. As leading cultivators and users of greenhouse technologies with over fifty years’ experience in farming various hydroponic crops, Felbridge is well placed to be at the forefront of the South African medicinal cannabis market and thereby assist in leading the local industry forward in a safe and responsible manner.”
Felbridge aims to become the leading cultivator in South Africa serving the international market with high quality pharmaceutical grade cannabis products thereby generating significant export revenues for the economy as well as providing employment opportunities and future investment into the sector. The company expects to harvest its first crop in the first quarter of 2020 and has commenced, with the assistance of its technology partners, with the retro-fitting of its existing greenhouse infrastructure to make it specific for cannabis cultivation. The company has also contracted the services of a Master Grower with over twenty years of international and local experience in the sector to assist in the cultivation process as well as the training of the relevant company personnel.
“The combination of a well-regulated industry and existing world class agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors, positions Felbridge, the Western Cape and South Africa as a global hub for the production of medical cannabis. The region’s climate, skills, infrastructure and people make for a perfect location to grow from.” said Mr. Zetler. “We will grow with integrity, in a safe and responsible manner, with a commitment to our customers of producing high quality cannabis products in line with the regulatory framework provided by SAHPRA.” added Mr. Zetler.
Felbridge will place a strong emphasis on the research of the medical benefits contained in cannabis products and for that reason will look to partner with local institutions in assisting in research studies as well as the development of registered products going forward.
Felbridge is not alone in recognising the potential that the Western Cape holds for a medicinal cannabis industry, indeed, Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, also believes this to be true. Tim Harris, the CEO of Wesgro commented that “Cape Town and the Western Cape is uniquely positioned on the African continent to become a hub for medicinal cannabis, especially with regard to research and development. The medicinal cannabis industry brings together the region’s strengths for precision farming, excellent universities and research facilities, renowned healthcare services, and an emerging biotech ecosystem. We therefore welcome this license and look forward to seeing the industry grow”.
For more information about Felbridge, visit www.felbridge.co.za