SOUTH AFRICA – Labat Cannabis South Africa, an investment holding company of the entire Labat cannabis supply and value chain, is set to acquire a 70% stake in Biodata, a technology and medical research company focused on the cannabis industry which is estimated to be worth R27 billion (US$1.44bn).

“The proposed acquisition of Biodata provides Labat Africa with additional medical and pharmaceutical infrastructure in support of its health-care strategy. Gallow and her team will also provide expertise and value to Labat Africa’s endeavours to developing the company’s drug master files for the selected alkaloid active ingredients,” Labat stated.

Biodata, which was initially set up as a holistic healing enterprise incorporating cannabinoids, is well positioned to begin clinical trials on pain management and insomnia, Labat said.

Labat said the research conducted by Dr Shiksha Gallow, Biodata’s medical director, will be an enhancement of Labat’s nutraceutical and pharmaceutical offerings.

While SA mulls over whether it should allow the up-scheduling of codeine-based products due to the significant abuse and the impact on health-care costs, Labat said it sees as an opportunity to invest in cannabis alkaloid based clinical trials, hence the acquisition of Biodata.

In 2019, Labat became the first listed company in Africa to venture into cannabis through the acquisition of Zarenka Group, a Lesotho-based cannabis grower and manufacturer.

Labat established a fully integrated cannabis business with the objective of gaining its foothold in the cannabis market and its value chain.

Labat also bought shares in a genetic cannabis breeding and cultivating business Knuckle Genetics as well as packaging company Pac-Con, which specialises in the manufacturing and packaging of liquids, tablets, capsules, creams and gels.

“Labat Africa is pleased to welcome on-board a group of leading experts in the cannabis industry who are committed to ensuring SA takes its rightful place on the world stage in the field of cannabis innovation and scientific excellence,” the company said.

One of the most exciting aspects of the cannabis industry, is the possibilities it provides to create Black wealth in South Africa, without compromising on the value of free enterprise and capitalism.

Labat Cannabis SA is ideally positioned to become a vehicle for facilitating the growth of local farmers and retailers, with abundant export opportunities. Growth opportunities in the agriculture sectors are highly relevant.

Cannabis is regarded as a niche sector due to its dynamic value chain, and Labat Cannabis SA has already excited interest with investors. In order to ensure success and sustainable growth, Labat, under the leadership of its seasoned directors, partners with experienced players in every sector of its business, and Labat Cannabis SA is no exception.