Bassim Haidar bets South Africa can become global medicinal cannabis leader

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Thursday, 8 September 2022 06:00

A worker prepares joints for customers at a medical cannabis cafe in Tira, an Arab village in central Israel
A worker prepares joints for customers at a medical cannabis cafe in Tira, an Arab village in central Israel March 2, 2022. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Billionaire entrepreneur Bassim Haidar is scaling up production of medicinal cannabis in South Africa and believes the country can become a leading supplier as the global market expands.

His SafriCanna company started production in South Africa in July, but an initial facility has proved to be too small to meet demand with all the 2023 production already sold. The “huge demand” has come from countries including Germany, Italy and Australia, Haidar says. “I underestimated the market size.”