ImpiloVest emerges as a new cannabis giant

With the goal of achieving a turnover of R1 billion within the next five years, ImpiloVest will continue to strive to be at the forefront of the cannabis market in South Africa.


By 2026, the South African cannabis industry is estimated to be worth R406 million1, a significant increase from the R87 million recorded in 2021. However, this growth is expected to be accelerated by the entrants of innovative players like ImpiloVest. This Western Cape-based complementary and alternative medicine holdings company has its eyes set on creating a more holistic approach for consumers, from source to shelf.

Following his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that steps would be taken to reform hemp and cannabis, and departmental budgets will be revised accordingly.

In recent years, patients, consumers, and society have become more educated on cannabis, which has resulted in the industry recording significant growth. According to a Wesgro report2, the licensing framework for the cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis will open new investment opportunities in South Africa. Aside from its agricultural strengths, the Western Cape is rapidly becoming Africa’s leader in pharmaceutical research and healthcare innovations.

Public private synergies are a must

While Ramaphosa’s announcement is welcomed, ImpiloVest’s Business Development Director, Paul Nunes says the government must establish a legal framework for the industry to thrive from a commercial perspective.

“Finding common ground and synergy between all departmental functions will be critical for growth to happen in the sector in the coming months.”

Despite this, Nunes said the cannabis giant is determined to forge ahead with achieving its aspirations, having secured joint ventures in the European Union, South America, and the Far East.

“With the goal of achieving a R1 billion turnover within the next five years, we will continue to strive to be at the forefront of the cannabis market in South Africa and take advantage once a legal framework is defined by the government. The group already has promising agreements in place with overseas partners to allow for our businesses to meet their commercial targets.”

A vertically integrated approach

ImpiloVest’s business structure comprises three divisions: cultivation, manufacturing, and retail. Two of the businesses within the group, Afriplex and Medreleaf, are both well-established names in the pharmaceutical and, more specifically, the Cannabis industry. Between them, they hold licences for cultivation, processing, and exportation, with Afriplex being the first company in South Africa to receive a Cannabis processing licence. With these capabilities, other Impilovest businesses, such as Releaf Pharmaceuticals can benefit from this vertically integrated approach by commercialising cannabis offerings for patients.

Interestingly, research shows that between 70% and 80%3 of South Africans use traditional and natural therapies and products to manage chronic diseases and common illnesses. ImpiloVest knows this, and through its collaborations, the leading cannabis giant strives to meet the needs of consumers through trusted health solutions. This is emphasised in its name, “impilo” when translated means “health”.

Nunes says, “The scientific expertise of our team allows us to manufacture products that are compliant with the regulatory and quality standards of different countries. Partnerships with industry leaders remain part of our commitment to driving growth. The current shareholders have committed to a five-year expansion plan and a significant number of international investors are interested in our company. There will be an expansion of the cannabis value chain across all businesses, not only in South Africa but internationally as well.”



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