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5 Ways That the Cannabis and Hemp Industry Provides Opportunity: A post-Covid-19 view

A few years after issuing the first research and development licenses for the cultivation of hemp and cannabis in South Africa, the proposed 5th version of the NCMP (National Cannabis Master Plan) was recently released and shows potential sectors within the greater industry where there is the opportunity for new small businesses to grow. In this post we will take you through the following topics and the associated opportunities:

  1. Sustainable Seed Supply Systems

  2. Research Development and Innovation

  3. Enterprise & Supplier Development

  4. Manufacturing & Product Development

  5. Education & Training

Sustainable Seed Supply Systems:

As cannabis and hemp become more mainstream it opens up opportunities outside of cultivation, product development, and manufacturing. Each cultivation company is required to use registered and stable genetics, from seed. Due to the recent legalization in South Africa, the breeding and production of seeds were somehow overlooked and cultivators are now forced to look overseas for compliant genetics and seeds. This means that imports from Europe, USA, and Canada are the only way to legally cultivate hemp and marijuana. Establishing local seed banks and developing and educating the public on the requirements could open the doors to providing more affordable seeds to local growers as well as a major export opportunity due to South Africa’s low labour rates.

Research Development & Innovation

Hemp and Cannabis are some of the most versatile plants in terms of the number of end products that can be developed with the same plant using different processing and extraction methods. There is a major opportunity in the automation of solventless extraction processes, flower/ bud automated packaging machinery, etc. Due to the many benefits of many of the byproducts, there is room for creative product development. The edible market is booming internationally. The extraction of natural terps can be used across all markets for natural flavors and scents.

Enterprise & Supplier Development

ESD is one of the pillars that form part of the BBBEE pillars. This is one of the vital areas of development that requires attention in order to provide opportunities to the previously disadvantaged citizens of South Africa. This could include assistance from both government as well as the private sector in the form of funding, consultation, and/ or mentorship programs. There is also an opportunity to consult for companies that are entering the industry as a way of implementing ESD strategies.

Manufacturing & Product Development

A brand new industry with many new options for product development is one of the most exciting sectors of the industry. The product that is consumed and purchased the most, are infused edibles. This means that the medicinal benefits sourced from the different types of extracts can isolate the different cannabinoids and infuse them into the edible products and therefore leaving many creative options for making different edible options.

Education & Training

Within the industry, there are many roles that require continuous upskilling. Each stage in the cultivation process has the potential to have a curriculum built around it. Once the curriculum is finalized, it will allow for an NQF qualification, which brings with it the opportunity to run internships, etc.

If you have identified any interesting opportunities in the industry, please let us know in the comments below.

Which opportunities mentioned here are you most likely to try?

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