Botanican was born from a simple idea: to build a company that would leverage the burgeoning medicinal cannabis industry to deliver social and environmental impact in some of Africa’s most under-resourced regions where cannabis has been grown for thousands of years. Co-founders Joy and Oliver saw that attitudes and regulations around the world were changing regarding the medical (and recreational) use of cannabis and so in 2017 they began researching the sector and exploring options for setting up a cannabis business focussed on delivering social impact.
The Botanican Story
How it began
”Our vision is to create Africa’s first legal network of local growers and bring sustainably grown cannabis to global markets.Joy Olivier
Planting The Seed
Building The Farm
”Within 3 months we built the basic infrastructure of the farm, with lots of help from the local communityGareth
WORKING WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Growing The Plants
The growing season in Lesotho runs from September (when we plant the seeds) to March (when we harvest).
2019 / 2020
Botanican’s first trial crop was cultivated from imported Spanish seeds, grown outdoors. Planting began in late November, and carried on through December. Despite multiple challenges — delays in licensing, minimal time for soil preparation, and no power for irrigation — the crop produced over 120kg of trimmed cannabis flower, with over 10% CBD content.
Botanican’s cannabis flower was processed by Verve Dynamics Lesotho into a full spectrum oil, and Botanican’s hemp leaf tea was also manufactured.
2020 / 2021
The coronavirus pandemic added an extra layer of complexity to Botanican’s development, but the team remained resilient, focussed, and nimble as they navigated the constraints of lockdowns and restrictions on trade. We were unable to plant another crop due to border closures between Lesotho and South Africa, but continued to engage with Verve Dynamics on research and development of Botanican’s formulations to include CBDA oils and capsules.
2021 / 2022
Our second crop (also 0.5Ha) was harvested in April 2022, and is now ready to be processed into Botanican’s signature CBDA products.
”We are continually learning, growing and expanding our operation, and will continue to support rural livelihoods in Lesotho, regenerate the land, and produce world-class cannabis products for healing and wellness as nature intends.Oliver Vergo
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