A farm in Stellenbosch owned by the Zetler family has been granted the first Western Cape licence to start growing dagga.
According to Fin24, the dagga licence has been granted to Felbridge, a company is majority owned by members of the Zetler family, well-known for producing strawberries.
The cannabis company Felbridge, which will produce dagga on a farm near Stellenbosch, has been granted a licence by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority.
The application process started in October 2017, and required police clearances, site plans and detailed company information. Felbridge also needed an agreement from overseas buyers for its produce, says the company’s Leslie Zetler.
Felbridge is converting a sweet pepper plantation, including a large greenhouse, into a dagga plant, and is currently securing seeds from Spain. This is subject to approval from the department of agriculture, it hasn’t started growing the cannabis yet.
It received a licence to grow 14 000 square metres, but will take a phased approach, says Zetler. First, 150 square metres will be cultivated to test the produce. When it is satisfied with the produce, 5 000 square metres, mostly located in a greenhouse, will be developed.
Zetler expects a yield of four to five crops a year. He said that the company invested “quite a bit” into securing the dagga plantation.
According to one report, the South African domestic market for cannabis and related products – excluding consumer CBD products, will be worth around R27bn by 2023.
The estimated cost of a setting up a facility and preparing an application will cost aspirant dagga cultivators between R3m and R5m, according to a report by Landbouweekblad.