SOURCE: Plandai Biotechnology, Inc.

March 11, 2014 06:00 ET

Plandai Biotechnology Assumes Role in Legalizing Medical Marijuana in South Africa

Retains Leading Law Firm to Draft Response to Recently Introduced Legislation

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - Mar 11, 2014) - Plandaí Biotechnology, Inc. (OTCQB: PLPL), a producer of highly bioavailable plant extracts for industries including health, wellness, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical, announced today that it will assume a role in helping to craft legislation that is expected to result in the eventual legalization of marijuana for medical purposes in South Africa. Plandaí has retained the law firm Werksmans Attorneys, (LEX Africa) Sandton, South Africa, which includes health law as one of its specialties, to draft and file the company's comments on a recently introduced legislative bill that if passed, would effectively legalize medical marijuana in that country and pave the way for expanded research.

The Medical Innovation Bill was introduced in the legislature in February by terminally-ill IFP MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini who stated in his introduction that, "...millions of people were going through the hell of being a cancer patient, and die and suffer, possibly unnecessarily, because government was not funding research and expediting approval for treatments where there was no profit to be made." Oriani-Ambrosini said tabling the bill to get the law changed was something he had to do. "This is my contribution to something that had to be done. I did not look for this fight... It found me."

Under current South African legislation, medical practitioners are legally denied the right to prescribe certain proven effective and harmless medication to their patients, which includes cannabis, on the basis that there are insufficient legally required double blind clinical studies. However, such studies are often considered economically unviable as cannabis, a plant that is in the public domain, cannot be patented by big pharmaceutical companies.

The bill's objectives are to establish one or more research hospitals where medical innovation can take place, especially with regard to the treatment and cure of cancer. The bill would also legalize the medical, industrial and commercial use of cannabis in South Africa in accordance with emerging world standards.

Oriani-Ambrosini also pointed out the potential economic benefits of legalized cannabis in South Africa, including tax revenue and jobs in agriculture and industrial production.

Commenting on the bill, Plandaí Vice President, Jamen Shively, stated, "As one of the few companies out there with a vested interest in medicinal cannabis research, and the stated goal of furthering such research, we see ourselves as duty-bound to help craft legislation and to support those institutions that are paving the way in this emerging field. The medical cannabis industry has been surviving solely on anecdotal evidence and limited medical research for too long. It is time to invest in legitimate, double blind human studies to confirm the effectiveness of cannabis therapy for not only cancers but also neural diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, MS, PTSD and epilepsy. We applaud Mr. Oriani-Ambrosini for his pioneering legislation and look forward to doing our part in not only supporting his efforts but also funding research in South Africa if the bill eventually passes."

About Plandaí Biotechnology, Inc.

Plandaí Biotechnology, Inc. and its subsidiaries develop highly bioavailable, phytonutrient rich extracts which are being utilized to deliver a new family of drugs to safely and affordably treat a multitude of diseases and conditions. Plandaí Biotechnology controls every aspect of the process, from growing the raw materials on its farms in South Africa, to producing its patented Phytofare™ extracts in-house, allowing the Company to guarantee the continuity of supply as well as quality control throughout the entire process. Targeted industries for the Company's products include beverage, cosmeceutical, wellness, nutraceutical, anti-aging, and pharmaceutical. For more information, please visit

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