The White Lion Seed Company will launch its brand at the Cannabis Expo on Thursday, in anticipation of selling industrial quantities of dagga seeds – and starter kits for home growers.
It believes the regulation that will allow it to sell seeds for R500 per pack will be in place by early 2019.
Then, the company says, it will be all about the genetics, to provide the exact high or medical treatment customers are looking for with just the right strain of marijuana.
During the course of 2019 – and hopefully in the first quarter – The White Lion Seed company hopes to be selling 5-seed cannabis starter kits for between R450 and R750 each, with everything you need to grow your own high.
Then it will be all about the kind of high, or medical treatment you are looking for. In the market for feeling very stoned? The Exodus Cheese marijuana strain may be for you. Just need some mild relaxation? Maybe the Super Lemon Haze plant is more for you.
"It is all about the genetics, even if you are doing medical or extracting [active ingredients]," says White Lion's Cornel van der Watt. "Before you do anything you should look at the genetics."
Even though private use and possession of dagga has effectively been decriminalised, selling seeds remains illegal. Nonetheless, White Lion will be launching its brand at the Cannabis Expo that starts on Thursday, in the anticipation that such restrictions will lift very soon.
As soon as that happens, Van der Watt says, beer companies will be looking for cannabidiol or CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from dagga; drug companies will be looking for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in dagga; and ordinary people will be looking for designer highs of all kinds. Then there will be strains aimed at specific medical outcomes such as reducing inflammation or tapping down on appetite.
White Lion has a partnership in place with a major Dutch distributor, says Van der Watt, and is actively breeding its own strains, in territories where that is legal, to create cannabis plants with predictable levels of active ingredients.