Vaal Triangle entrepreneur Prof Benny de Beer’s revolutionary medical cannabis project is gathering a head of steam. His CBD Full Spectrum Manufacturers International (Pty) Ltd company, is pioneering the development of a local medicinal marijuana market, by supplying local doctors in applying for Section 21 medicinal cannabis licenses at SAHPRA.
Tackling the challenges of domestic and export medicinal cannabis
What sets the Prof apart from the other 30 or so South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) licensed cannabis cultivators, is that he’s tackling both the export and domestic markets, a compliance challenge of note and his reputation for pushing officialdom’s boundaries have made him something of a fall-guy for the industry.
Effectively, Prof de Beer is using a SAHPRA-approved template making it easier for doctors to prescribe cannabis to their patients. As a licensed producer, he can supply SAHPRA-registered doctors with the cannabis which is then supplied to a medically-registered end-user. To date this has been an onerous process: for instance, each of the four doctors he’s assisted in getting SAHPRA-accredited, each have to submit 20 peer reviews as well as a volume of other paperwork. He is hoping that SAHPRA will soon streamline the process.
Prof de Beer hopes to roll out “sign-in centres” to facilitate doctor/patient interaction
Now the Prof wants to take the concept nationwide in a move that could see the opening of a network of “application and education centres” where doctors and patients can meet in a secure environment where cannabis prescription can be fast-tracked and at the same time meet compliance requirements.
The first “application and education centres” in Johannesburg, opened its doors on Saturday, 11 September 2021. CBD Full Spectrum is already supplying four doctors with about 30 patients across the country. The especially-sealed packaging (3,5 gm or 14 gm) is divided into compartments of a “dose” of half a gram of dry bud a day.
Cannabiz Africa visited CBD Full Spectrum’s licensed Vaal Triangle facility on 3 September 2021, and met Prof de Beer, who has a master grower and a team of 13 workers under his command. There were four conventional greenhouse tunnels; at flowering stage with a mix of SA Cheese, UK Cheese , Charlotte’s Angel and Blue Gelato strains. The initial seeds were sourced from Europe but the plants are now being cloned. The plants are organically grown.
CBD Full Spectrum to increase capacity to service Australian export order
Now he is preparing to ramp up production with another 10 tunnels in the pipeline in anticipation of:
- The growing South African domestic market for medicinally-prescribed dried flower as well as servicing existing clients such as Releaf Pharmaceuticals;
- Filling international exports – it has secured, in a venture with Paarl-based Afriplex, a one tonne export order for later this year with Australian buyers;
Prof De Beer is a stakeholder in four other cannabis-licensed farms in South Africa, including an indoor grow-op in Johannesburg, making it in line to be South Africa’s biggest producer of legal cannabis this year. It has other applications in the pipeline this year.
Prof de Beer says, “the challenge is immense”. On the one hand, compliance requirements are financially scary, bureaucratically frustrating and in some instances legally murky. On the other hand, standards still have to be set and a regulatory framework put in place. He says one of the biggest issues facing the industry as a whole is South Africa’s capacity to test product quality and composition and for heavy metals and pesticides. He says consistency of product quality and supply is the foundation on which the medicinal cannabis industry has to be based on.