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Botswana company obtains exclusive license for hemp and marijuana

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The Botswana Corporation has been granted the exclusive rights to produce hemp and marijuana in the South African country.

Gaborone-based Fresh Standard Limited acquired the concessions after the company secured an initially approved license in October 2018 that was returned as a result of a lawsuit. Fresh Standard has resisted having its license revoked by the country’s permanent agriculture minister in a case brought by farmer Barend de Beer, the company’s owner.

In granting Fresh Standard permission to continue its business, the Gabarone High Court ruled that the Secretary of Agriculture had acted outside its jurisdiction. It also ordered the government to reimburse Fresh Standard for losses it incurred during the licensing hiatus. De Beer suggested in his original court filing that he would lose business worth 750,000 Botswana Pula (about $66,000) as a result of license revocation.

Botswana has lagged behind Zambia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana, all of which have established laws allowing the cultivation of hemp as a legal cash crop.

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