Halo Labs (NEO:HALO) Expands Into Lesotho by Purchasing Bophelo
Halo Labs Inc (NEO:HALO) (OTCMKTS:AGEEF) (FRA:A9KN) Chairperson Louisa Mojela joins Midas Letter in London to discuss the company’s direction after the announced acquisition of Bophelo Bioscience & Wellness (Pty) Ltd prior to closing. Bophelo Bioscience is based in the Kingdom of Lesotho, Southern Africa and is the holder of one of a limited number of licenses issued in Lesotho for the production of medicinal cannabis products. The favourable high altitude, low humidity climate provides clean and organic growing conditions within the mountainous region. Ms. Mojela discusses the partnership with Halo, how the deal was struck and why the acquisition is so valuable within one of the most sought-after locations for cannabis operations in the world. Not only will Halo be gaining assets in the first African country to legalize the cultivation and manufacturing of medicinal cannabis, it will also be adding more valued strategic advisors to the Company through Ms. Mojela. Ms. Mojela successfully founded and listed Women Investment Portfolio Holding Limited on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange that has grown to be worth over USD $250M today. Upon appointment, Ms. Mojela is expected to be the first African woman to lead a publicly traded cannabis company.
James West: Louisa Mojela is joining me now. She’s the incoming Chairperson of Halo Labs, and hails from Lesotho. Louisa, welcome.
Louisa Mojela: Thank you very much.
James West: Louisa, you are coming in as the Chairperson of Halo Labs, and the reason for your participation is a company called Bophelo Life Sciences – Biosciences, sorry. And tell me about how this all came together.
Louisa Mojela: Bophelo Biosciences and Wellness is a company that I founded in Lesotho, when two years ago when the government of Lesotho decided to legalize the usage of medicinal cannabis and started issuing licenses. I then applied for a license, and having done that, I knew that the next step was for me to look for a strategic partner, because people that have been involved in medicinal cannabis, they have the know-how, the expertise, the management, and all of that.
First thing I did was to go to Netherlands, to Amsterdam, hoping that I will find a partner there. I met with some operators and they were all excited and hoping that, you know, they will come on board. Needless to say that after a number of times of getting back to them and trying to follow up, they ghosted me.
Then late last year, GMG Company in South Africa introduced me to Kiran and his team, or they introduced Kiran to me.
James West: The CEO of Halo Labs?
Louisa Mojela: Yes, the CEO of Halo Labs. And we started talking, and they just took a liking. They then flew down to Lesotho, they went to our site because they wanted to see, you know, the land and where the operations will be, you know, done, and all of that. And then we started talking in earnest, and on the 14th of June, we then signed terms, you know, to say yes, the chemistry is there; we can get into the partnership.
They then decided that they would like to appoint me as a Chairman of their company, which was quite an honour for me, and quite flattering, really, because it then makes me, at least to my knowledge, one of the first women to participate in medicinal cannabis listed company, actually.
James West: And you also have, or run, a fund that is a large investment fund based in Lesotho that is focused on the empowerment of women in business?
Louisa Mojela: The fund is in Johannesburg, in South Africa. That’s a fund also that I founded with my four colleagues in 1994, just prior to the ushering of our democratic dispensation in South Africa. We felt that as women, we needed to do something for ourselves, because we could not sit back and expect men to invite us to participate in the wealth creation. So we decided that we’ll do it our own, we will come and disrupt their way of, you know, excluding us as women. So that’s how we founded the company, and it’s mainly established for the empowerment of women towards wealth creation, towards financial independence of women, and of course, we do many other social corporate responsibilities to assist the marginalized women and children in particular to rural areas.
We are doing the same, also, in Lesotho, and with the partnership with Halo Labs, we have agreed that 10 percent of our pre-tax will go towards empowering and uplifting the communities that reside around the area where we are growing the medicinal cannabis. And we also, of course, expect to employ a large contingency of women, particularly towards the trimming, because we view that women are more nurturing, they’re more gentle, and the flower needs precisely that.
James West: Nobody can argue with that. So companies are flocking to Lesotho to grow cannabis, and what is it about Lesotho that attracts all of these cannabis companies from around the world to Lesotho?
Louisa Mojela: I think the main attraction in Lesotho, first of all, the government of Lesotho is the first country in Lesotho to legalize the medicinal cannabis, usage of medicinal cannabis. Over and above that, Lesotho, operating in Lesotho, brings a number of myriad of benefits. One, we’ve got pristine climate that will just be beneficial to the growing of medicinal cannabis.
We have a large, affordable labour force, which will be required for the medicinal operators, and we have access to many markets, free market access entrance, because Lesotho is the least developed country; therefore, if you want to export a product to the US, we have let’s say free market access through AGOA, Africa Growth Opportunity. We have the same free market access to Europe, Canada, Australia and so on.
So all those are the benefits, and Lesotho, within the Southern Africa, we also, it also has a lower tax base for companies. So all these things will be, you know, bringing big benefits to the operators.
James West: Okay, so is the idea that you will produce and extract EU GMP certifiable cannabis products in Lesotho and export them to Europe and other places in the world as pharmaceutical inputs? Or will you produce pharmaceutical products in Lesotho and export those to markets?
Louisa Mojela: I think for now, in the beginning, we are going to do the extraction of oil and concentrates and export. Then, in the foreseeable future, that’s when we can begin to explore manufacturing in Lesotho.
James West: Okay. And is Lesotho is a populous country?
Louisa Mojela: Popu –
James West: Like I mean, how many people live there? What’s the population?
Louisa Mojela: Oh, the population of the country, it’s about two million people.
James West: Okay. And it’s surrounded by South Africa.
Louisa Mojela: And it’s in the belly of South Africa, not even surrounded; it’s right in the belly of South Africa.
James West: Interesting. I’ve never been to that part of the world, ever.
Louisa Mojela: It’s small. Lesotho and Swaziland and Botswana are the smallest countries in that region, and we are all neighbours of South Africa.
James West: Okay, well, that’s exciting, and I thank you for your comments and your input, and I look forward to another conversation with you hopefully in Lesotho.
Louisa Mojela: Yes, you must come and visit our small country. It’s very, it’s a friendly country.
James West: Great.
Louisa Mojela: Friendly people.
James West: Awesome.
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