The Eastern Cape provincial government has identified 600 potential cannabis farmers as core growers in its drive to develop the fledgling industry. And it will invest R4,5 million in formalizing a legal cannabis industry in the Eastern Cape.
Royal Call to Grow Local
The news has been welcomed by the AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, who told an audience in Lusikisiki, Transkei, that cannabis growers should use the opportunity to showcase homegrown strains:
“We want to use only seeds from AbaThembu, from AmaMpondo and from the Gcalekas. We don’t want our cannabis to be replaced by one from Jamaica or Japan.”
Eastern Cape premier Lubabalo Mabuyane said on 2 November 2020 that his executive council had received a preparatory report on the proposed strategy for the Eastern Cape cannabis industry.
Government to assist farmers in getting licenses
He welcomed the report which laid out finalised terms of reference for the development of the Provincial Cannabis Strategy and Business Plan. He said the province’s Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Department would assist farmers to apply for both hemp and medical marijuana licenses.
Government support to grow weed? We’ll put that in our pipe and smoke it!
The Eastern Cape basically sees a collaborative ‘outgrower’; model whereby small-scale farmers supply their weed to centralized processing facilities which would also offer technical and financial support. Port Elizabeth and East London have been identified as hubs for cannabis agri-processing.
Cannabis campus plans still on track
Mabuyane said efforts to convert and develop the Lusikisiki College into a Cannabis College were also underway.
He said further engagements, will be held with national government on gaps in the draft cannabis laws.