Ntsika Majiba, IOL News
The Paarl-based botanicals manufacturer, in collaboration with the Cannabis Research Institute, has developed a new CBD extraction process. It is also looking at establishing a CBG processing facility in Canada.
IOL reported on 1 April 2023 that Paarl-based Afriplex, which develops and manufactures botanical medicines, food and beverages, announced that it has developed a new innovative technology that is able to extract cannabidiol (CBD), a first for South Africa.
Afriplex director Danie JC Nel, said that the Cannabis Research Institute of South Africa partnered in developing the new technology.
“It is an extraction process combining solvent extraction, vacuum evaporation, dewaxing, fractionation and chromatographic separation to isolate various cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD),” he said.
Nel said that this technology would benefit the province by providing substantial employment and giving it an economic boost.
“Afriplex is part of the Impilovest Group, covering the full cannabis value chain from cultivation, to processing and finalising finished products for export. It therefore impacts on creating employment in all the activities in the value chain. We expect at least 500 additional job opportunities within the Western Cape within the next five years.
“This could obviously be more if we succeed in getting the government to create a conducive environment for conducting businesses with international customers. The Impilovest shareholders plan to invest more than R350 million in the Western Cape within the next five years. The existing cannabis growing facilities, the processing facility at Afriplex and clinical studies for chronic pain relief are all part of this.
“We plan to establish a processing facility in Canada to produce another cannabinoid (CBG) , a similar facility as Afriplex in the Vaal SEZ (Special Economic Zone) and investment in technology for a new dosage form (WC). We are also actively involved in the development of technology to produce automotive parts from hemp fibre,” he said.
Nel said that the government is controlling the regulatory environment and has the keys to unlocking such opportunities.
“We are involved with a job creation fund valued at more than R100 million, all dependent on government approval. This fund will create more than 500 new jobs within a three year period nationally. This is over and above the 500 additional jobs planned by Impilovest,” he said.