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Distell and Invenfin buy 40% stake in cannabis wellness brand Rethink

Distell and Invenfin buy 40% stake in cannabis wellness brand Rethink

African liquor group Distell and Invenfin, the venture capital arm of Remgro, have entered into a partnership with Releaf Pharmaceuticals to share ownership in South African cannabis wellness brand Rethink.

Distell and Invenfin have each purchased a 20% stake in the Rethink brand and range of products to establish a three-way partnership, with a vision of building a compelling portfolio of cannabis-based brands across product categories in this growing sector.

Rethink was launched by Releaf Pharmaceuticals in October 2019. The product range includes CBD oils, capsules, teas and skincare products, which are available in leading national and independent pharmacies. 

With its strong technical and regulatory expertise in the cannabis industry and a broad market footprint, Releaf Pharmaceuticals is responsible for the successful growth of Rethink, which is the first cannabis wellness brand to be endorsed by the Cannabis Research Institute. In a joint statement, Distell and Invenfin said the new Rethink partnership brings together a set of complementary product, branding and commercial capabilities to build cannabis brand- and market leadership in South Africa and other major markets.

Cannabis market growth

With a worldwide shift towards legalisation of cannabis products, the sector is poised for growth with an estimated global market size of $166bn. 

In South Africa, CBD preparations containing no more than 20mg per daily dose have been allowed to be sold legally since 2019. CBD is a naturally occurring chemical in cannabis plants that has gained recognition as a natural alternative to conventional medicine for a variety of health concerns. Its application is expanding to cover different wellness needs such as the relief of minor symptoms such as pain, inflammation, restlessness and anxiety, made available in different products such as daily oils, capsules and teas.

The Department of Trade and Industry and the Agricultural Research Council have estimated that the current informal and formal cannabis industry in South Africa is worth R14bn and by 2024 this could rise to R28bn, 70% of the R44bn estimated African market.

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