How things have changed. A few years ago anyone who expressed an interest in cannabis would have been dismissed as a lazy layabout, a lawbreaker, a pothead. Now cannabis is being legalised worldwide, and many people who use it do so for its medicinal benefits.
SA has astonishing potential for cannabis cultivation, and far from making a hash of it investors in cannabis projects can succeed by deriving tax benefits under the government’s 12J venture capital incentive.
The Income Tax Act’s section 12J lets a taxpayer deduct the full capital amount of their investment from their income, for income tax assessment purposes, in the tax year the investment is made. It’s money for old dope.
One project I have been involved in funding is a cannabis-growing facility south of Richards Bay that is being set up on, and partnering with, a sugar-cane farm in KwaZulu-Natal. The project is the brainchild of four SA entrepreneurs at Elixir Africa, which entered the cannabis business as an importer of cannabis oils.
Farzana Varachia, a director of the project, said the focus is not on mind-expanding drugs but on the cannabis oils that are extracted from the plant. (Potheads beware: they do not give you a high.) Elixir is already licensed to launch a cultivation project in Lesotho, and this experience will carry through to its new KwaZulu-Natal venture.
As a structure has to be set up before the authorities will grant a licence in SA, Elixir has been raising funds for setting up cultivation to secure a licence. The cannabis will be grown in four greenhouse tunnels, using hi-tech agricultural methods. In parallel, Farzana and her team are planning a facility to extract cannabis oils for medicinal use.
Cannabis oils are used to alleviate the symptoms of conditions such as mental illness, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and migraines. There is even research under way to see whether cannabis oils might help in the treatment of Covid-19. This is science, not psychedelia.
Though some in the medical profession remain sceptical and it can be hard to erase the prejudices of the past, there is no shortage of people who say they derive benefits. Cannabis oil is not snake oil. It may not work for everyone, but it does work.
The KwaZulu-Natal project will initially employ 10-12 people, with further job opportunities in the extraction business. It is also scalable — the current site has the capacity for 16 tunnels or more, and the project can also be replicated elsewhere in SA and across Africa.
On the drawing board at Elixir Africa are cannabis farms in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng, on a similar scale. The cost of the four greenhouse tunnels being installed in KwaZulu-Natal is R20m-R30m, and it was not hard to raise the finance for this first stage. Security at the site has to be strict and is a requirement for licensing in SA.
What of the finished products? Once the oil has been extracted and packaged, it can be sent to a pharmacy, and each product in Elixir Africa’s current range can, like conventional medicines, be claimed from medical aid.
By growing the cannabis in SA there can be less reliance on imports, and in time there are export opportunities as well.
Apart from uses for humans, there are also medicinal benefits for pets from cannabis oils. And this is no shaggy dog story. The processed and packaged cannabis oil is available in droplets or capsules, can be used in face products, and you can get a roll-on for arthritis.
Investors who might be sceptical can just look at the worldwide market. The US, Europe and Canada are opening up to medicinal cannabis, while SA is two years behind the international trend. This has a lot of potential. Canadian company Aurora has grown in just four years to be a multibillion-dollar enterprise. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a success story like that in SA?
Cannabis has undergone a reputational transition from very recent times when it was illegal, with a stigma attached to it. It is high time we put the past behind us, embrace the opportunities and grow this industry in SA. We are already on a roll.
• Hart is executive chair of Impact Investment Management.
As we welcome Spring, we’ve learnt that nothing in 2020 is ever to be as expected. Elixir is warming things up for you by getting you started with our fabulous Spring specials that’s bound to put a spring back into your step!
For any purchases of the 1.6mg/drop (1000mg) flavoured tincture
All purchases on the Elixir website while stocks last!
Happy Spring Shopping
Some of the most common causes of chronic insomnia is often linked to stress, anxiety, and depression. Adversely, difficulty sleeping can also exacerbate these very triggers. Other common emotional and psychological causes such as anger, worry, grief, bipolar disorder and trauma are also triggers of insomnia. If your insomnia is caused by external factors or related conditions, CBD may help by treating the causes of sleeplessness. Research has shown that CBD oil can improve your stress response, which can in turn help you to relax.
What Are Cannabinoids and CBD?
The Endocannabinoid System and Sleep
Researchers discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in maintaining certain body functions, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and regulating sleep-wake cycles. Within the endocannabinoid system is a network of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. The two primary receptors identified are CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids attach to these cells and have various effects. Some research indicates that the cannabinoid CBD may interact with specific receptors, potentially affecting the sleep/wake cycle. Additionally, CBD may also decrease anxiety and pain, which can both interfere with restful sleep. By reducing certain symptoms, it is also possible that sleep may improve.
The results indicated the cannabinoids in cannabis decreased symptoms of insomnia, but the study involved using the cannabis flower, which contains several cannabinoids. It’s difficult to determine if relief from insomnia was due to CBD or another cannabinoid. Elixirs’ Effects based range contains CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes to give an enhanced effect.
Researchers also found that subjects did not build up an intolerance to the effects of CBD, so there was no need to increase dosage continually.
Another case study involving a 10-year-old girl with post-traumatic stress disorder and poor sleep was treated with CBD. A trial of 25 mg of a CBD supplement was administered at bedtime. An additional 6 to 12 mg of CBD was given via a sublingual spray during the day for anxiety. Sleep quantity and quality gradually improved over five months.
CBD may help treat:
WHICH ELIXIR PRODUCTS SHOULD I TAKE
The tinctures and sprays can be taken sublingually. Every individual will have a dosage that works for them. We do however recommend starting with low dosage and increasing as needed. Its best taken on an empty tummy. Fewer drops can be taken in the morning to ease anxiety, if any. More drops to be taken during the evening to assist with sleep.
⚠️ If you struggle with sleep issues, the best first step is to consult your doctor and learn more about causes and treatments. If you’re taking other medication for anxiety or any other condition, CBD oil could interact with common prescription medications, so it is important that you consult with your GP before you try it.
After being inundated with requests for our flavoured and effect based e-liquids to be made available, we have heard you and now launch the full range of Elixir Africa E Liquid products!
Elixir Africa has taken great care in sourcing our raw materials, resulting in us having access to some of the only true zero THC isolate and distillates in the world.
In addition to traditional flavours we have utilised terpenes – naturally occurring flavour compounds commonly found in the hemp plant itself, to specially develop unique terpene blends designed to add an “entourage effect” to our CBD products as well as bold natural flavours, so customers can choose the perfect CBD product for a variety of needs. Our terpene effect and strain blends are always made using only the highest quality terpenes with full analytical certification. The high-quality isolate being used in our products ensures that our CBD can endure much higher temperatures before burning-upwards of 250 degrees, which makes it even more ideal for vaping. Competing Isolates have been seen to lose up to 20-30% of their total CBD content when heated beyond 200 degrees.
Our latest product addition, the E-Liquids, has been specially formulated to maintain total stability and fantastic flavour delivery, using the same premium quality PG and VG while being carefully infused with our True zero THC CBD isolate. We have made this available in both the traditional and terpene effect-based flavours.
With the recent Presidential advisory, the Cannabis Expo has been postponed. We are thankful to the team for ensuring the safety and well-being of all its stall holders, customers, clients and visitors.
While there is much uncertainty and panic, its imperative that we maintain a sense of calm..which CBD can definitely assist with!
Elixir Africa is committed to providing premium grade products and all the specials that have been saved for the Expo will be available online later this week. Please do stay tuned to our pages for the latest product launch at the end of this week!
We assure you of our commitment and service to you.
Online shopping with Elixir Africa -where masks, hand sanitizers and the elbowing of your keyboard is not required. The safest space to shop!