CannaTech is heading to Cape Town, South Africa in November 2019 to shine a spotlight on emerging local businesses and regional regulatory changes.
Africa is a rapidly expanding, nascent cannabis market with huge growth potential that’s attracting global industry stakeholders. CannaTech is an inside track to high potential investment opportunities with five years of global cannabis deal-making experience.
Today we are talking with iCAN CEO, Saul Kaye, about why Africa is CannaTech’s next main-stage destination.
Why did you choose Cape Town for the next CannaTech?
CannaTech is heading to Cape Town, South Africa at the end of November 2019 to highlight how the African cannabis industry is turning on in a really unique way. It’s incredible that in Africa, cannabis is looked at from a different perspective than anywhere in the world: it’s not just about the big business of cannabis, but also about how to protect the interests of local farmers and keep the industry sustainable.
Countries in Africa like are Lesotho and Zimbabwe are issuing licenses to produce cannabis, but South Africa is the most stable economy on the continent and likely the one that will drive the emerging market. Throughout Africa, governments are looking at how to maximize the potential profit and growth of regulated cannabis markets. Morocco, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone are all actively assessing their entry into the market.
What is the current African cannabis landscape?
In the near future, Africa will be one of the main cost price producers of cannabis for the whole industry. This region has a good amount of sun, solid agricultural practices, and plenty of land, water, and cheap labour. Grows in Africa will outstrip Canadian indoor production costs and African countries also have a thriving local cannabis market.
It’s important not to forget the local market. For example, in Israel, there is a lot of talk about export, export, export. But in a population of 9 million, it’s estimated that Israel has a market of 2 million cannabis consumers looking for a solution. It’s an oversight to ignore local consumers.
“In the near future, Africa will be one of the main cost price producers of cannabis for the whole industry. This region has a good amount of sun, solid agricultural practices, and plenty of land, water, and cheap labour.”
Africa is an interesting place for a few reasons: a long history of cannabis cultivation, a cultural acceptance of the plant, and a near-perfect climate. On a global level, Africa can offer a vast supply with low-cost production. These factors make the region a global player, and the companies we are seeing in Africa are positioning themselves for this.
For example, all the players in Africa seem to be building out their operations according to EUGMP medicinal standards – both on the grow and the production side. This will allow the African market to supply craft cultivation products to Europe.
Will there be local representation at CannaTech?
The focus of our cannabis conventions is to highlight the local landscape. In the lead-up to CannaTech Cape Town this November, we’re seeing a significant number of African brands coming online. Decriminalization in Africa, in South Africa particularly, is opening the continent to rapid entry into the global market.
We’ll be meeting leading African influencers when we come to Cape Town and giving local businesses a platform to network with international cannabis companies and investors. We’ll also tackle the big issues facing the industry, like moving local growers from an illegal market to a legal market, expunging cannabis-related criminal records, and minimizing the carbon footprint of cannabis ventures.
These are huge challenges facing our industry; in my experience, bringing smart people together to share opportunities, and solutions is a great way to approach challenges. This is something I’m very excited to be involved with.
We’ll be bringing the biggest names in the industry together to make deals, find new opportunities, and propel global cannabis conversation.