Financial services provider Fedgroup is the latest mainstream institution to enter the South African cannabis market. It has added “cannabinoid hemp” to its “alternative asset impact farming investment options”, saying investors could earn a 14% return per annum over the next three years.
Fedgroup follows Silverleaf Investments in trying to attract new investors into the cannabis industry by offering affordable products to the public for as little as a grand. It has added hemp to its portfolio of agricultural investments defined as "high impact" farming based on its projections that the industry is set to soar.
But unlike Silverleaf which is exploring the full cannabis value chain for investment opportunities, Fedgroup is restricting itself to hemp.
Akhona Matshoba reported in Moneyweb on 29 September 2022 that buyers in units in Fedgroup’s can invest in a hemp plant for R1 000 and earn an annual profit of between 12% and 14% over a three-year investment term. There are 9 100 units available on the company’s investment platform. The company says hemp plants are harvested once a year between March and May, and investors can expect their returns around August.
Fedgroup says it is steering away from anything high in THC. It points out that there’s more than enough money to be made from hemp and the global CBD market which it said was valued at US$4 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach US$20 billion by 2028.
“South Africa is perfectly poised to benefit from the international CBD market, not only for local production but also for export. The South African government is also active in facilitating the growth of the industry” Warren Winchester, Ventures GM at Fedgroup told Moneyweb.
“This investment will [help] farmers to benefit from the considerable economic opportunity that this crop provides but will also play a crucial role in job creation and skills development.”
Fedgroup has six other alternative assets in its impact farming portfolio: solar panels, lettuce stacks, beehives, macadamia trees, blueberry bushes and morning trees. The interesting pitch on its website is that “your farming side-hustle starts here”. It has an App that allows investors to gain instant access to start gaining a harvest-orientated income as opposed to conventional financial returns.
The group says its decision to add hemp to its portfolio was informed by the country’s fast-growing CBD market as well as its export potential.