WATCH: Cannabis comes to Cape Town

Cape Town could be the first place in South Africa to grow cannabis for medical use. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Cape Town could be the first place in South Africa to grow cannabis for medical use.

The City of Cape Town has partnered with a Canadian pharmaceutical corporation for this new venture.

The venture aims to put the country at the forefront of medical innovation while creating jobs.

In Atlantis, just outside of Cape Town, 12 hectares of vacant land will soon be transformed into a cutting-edge facility to grow cannabis for medical use, similar to its sister plant in Lesotho.

READ: Unpacking the dispensation, use of cannabis in SA

It is the result of a partnership between the City of Cape Town and Canopy Growth Corporation.

Not only will it contribute to South Africa's medical advancement but it'll also grow the local economy.

"We've seen some massive benefits for countries and cities where they've invested in this venture,” said Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member James Vos.

“And so it’s a massive investment in Atlantis and as we know Atlantis is known for its green technology and the recently special zone is also important for us as we look at creative new economic sectors in that specific space and it will create more than 250 job opportunities."

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The company's Africa unit says it's excited about the multimillion-rand venture and building is already underway.

"It was really important to me to build a facility that uplifts the local community, that enriches the people around it and we have amazing skills and resources and we would like our facility to be the hub for the rollout of medical cannabis in South Africa,” said Jody Aufrichtig managing director at Canopy Growth.

The first batch of pharmaceuticals will roll off the production belt this time next year.


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