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CANNABIS CROWDGROWINGIera UrionaThe history of cannabis in South Africa dates back to the 17th century, when the Dutch traded with local tribes who already used the plant in rituals, recipes and celebrations. By 1680 the first prohibitionist laws began to be passed with the aim of controlling and monopolising the cultivation of cannabis. After many twists and turns, in 2017 cannabis for medicinal use was legalised, an unprecedented advance in the country. The decriminalisation of cannabis in 2018, launched an industry that is growing by leaps and bounds ever since. The future of cannabis in South Africa looks promising and the country is in the spotlight of companies and investors from around the world. Qualified workforce, experience in cultivation, potential in its geography, legislation and vindication against the cultivation of cannabis, make the country a potential business niche. New innovative business models such as cannabis crowdgrowing platforms, are betting on the “rainbow nation”. Regarding commercial activities related to cannabis, there are two main business models:
Those that have direct contact with the plant (growers, processors, distributors …) and those that do not (technological supplies, legal consulting, packaging …).
The latter usually involve less investment and risk, but their success will depend on the companies that do have contact with the plant, as well as the general growth of the industry. On the other hand, a plant touching business entails a very high initial investment (licenses, land, employees, suppliers ...), but its strength and scope depends only on your wishes and capabilities, and not on the general growth of the industry.
The crowdgrowing scheme finds a synergy between the two models, taking the benefits that a plant touching business provides, avoiding at the same time the initial investment and the risks that it entails. How? By creating a global network of commercial cultivation associations financed by individuals (e-growers) that manages to maintain the economic benefits at the community level, so that the supply chain retains money and value.
This allows local cannabis growers and businesses to expand their operations to make the final product less expensive, of higher quality and more desirable as an export, while e-growers can generate profits from cannabis without the need to touch a plant. Platforms such as JuicyFields, which already has a solid global network and is constantly expanding, offers its African partners the opportunity to direct their businesses towards the European market, thus expanding their opportunities given the high demand in the old continent. “Global cannabis companies have woken up to the reality that Southern Africa has the potential to supply the world with quality cannabis and cannabis products at competitive prices. We have such huge opportunities here in South Africa to be global suppliers, but we need the funds to build businesses and to scale up and take advantage of these opportunities while they are hot, that is where companies like JuicyFields come in.” says Silas Howarth, Director & Co-Founder at The Cannabis Expo Africa.