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ISSUE 6Cultivating a Healthy, Homegrown IndustryClifford GiesenowSilverLeaf Investments brings much needed resources to help cultivate a burgeoning industry that certainly could use a helping hand. The entire cannabis culture has grown around the values of “One Love” or “where we grow One, we grow All”, and so this is our approach to funding the Cannabis Industry. What do you do when the fuel in the tank runs dry and the (financial) vehicle driving the business rolls to a grinding halt? How do you scale a dynamic business in a new and emerging industry? How do you attract the right acquisition targets in order to do the deals required to develop a formidable investor value proposition? Launched at the beginning of 2021, SilverLeaf Investments was formed with the intention of capitalising on this remarkable opportunity, to be part of the fastest growing industry on the planet, as well as to provide critical funding for this nascent industry. At this stage, this venture capital company has raised money from retail investors who are excited about the huge potential of Cannabis and Hemp in South Africa.
The fund has made one investment to-date with licensed cultivation and functional wellness company Druid’s Garden in a joint venture called CannaGrowAfrica. The first crop from the high-tech medical cannabis greenhouse tunnel has been harvested. It will soon be leaving for Australia where it has been sold to a bio-pharmaceutical company setting up in the Cannabis industry there. Actively seeking further investments, SilverLeaf is focusing on all verticals and parts of the value chain, both plant and non-plant touching. “We have identified and are engaging with extraction and testing laboratories as well as contract manufacturers, retail brands and channels as we seek to find and invest in the best operators out there” says Clifford Giesenow, Joint CEO.
“Many companies are now post revenue and at scale-up stage and we are looking to invest both funds and our time, expertise and experience to help them grow as we collectively cultivate a sustainable industry in this part of the world” he added. Having reached out globally, SilverLeaf Investments has been engaging with a number of potential global investment partners and has also been in discussions with Juicy Fields, a crowd-growing platform that has already invested in CannaYeza, a licensed cultivator in Lanseria, Johannesburg. At the recent Cannabis Expo in Cape Town the joint CEOs of SilverLeaf Investments shared the stage with Claudia Della Mora of Black Legend Capital, a guest from the USA as well as Luc Richner, of CannaVigia, a track and trace platform based out of Switzerland. SilverLeaf Investments is looking to raise significantly more funding to deploy, in order to set up various supply chains and is working on a way to bring in smaller investors into this exciting industry whilst at the same time engaging with high-net-worth individuals, private equity firms, and other funds. There is also the potential for social impact funding as this industry could lead to huge job creation, as noted by the President in his recent SONA speech of 2022.