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SA Landraces with Cannabis Plants. and species-min.png
The Justice Department took flak in Parliament this week during stakeholder input into the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill where it became evident that state law-makers are clueless as to what Government's intended vision for cannabis is. They remain conceptually and technically completely out of their depth - and lazy to boot as they have not bothered to bring any rational evidence to back up what is truly a pathetic legislative interpretation of the 2018 Constitutional Court ruling legalizing the private consumption of cannabis.

Justice Dept Admits No Rational Evidence Behind Plant Limits in Cannabis Bill as State Lawyers Come Under Fire in Parliament

Cannabis and solar power to be the key economic recovery drivers in rebuilding the devestated community of Jagersfontein following the flood disaster eight months ago.

Re-Imagining Xhariep: Free State Launches Mega Cannabis Project in Jagersfontein After Last Year’s Mine Dam Tailings Disaster

Government has made no official announcement about the "significant spike" in raising acceptable THC levels in hemp. It signalled its intentions in a clause in the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill which will be welcomed by stakeholders. However, cultivar restriction could self-sabotage all the good intentions.

SA to Lift Hemp THC Limit to 2% But Cultivar Restrictions Remain a “Lethal Impediment” to the Industry



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Bien There and Donne That: Ferreira Beats Red Tape to Get Hemp Permit and Sets Up New Research Centre in W Cape

Brett Hilton-Barber

27 July 2022 at 22:00:00

Mastergrower Natie Ferreira has been appointed director of a new cannabis research centre at the Agricultural Research Council’s (ARC) Bien Donne site in the Western Cape and has bold plans to transform the historic farm into a local hemp hub.

The historic Bien Donne wine estate in the Drakenstein valley is to be transformed into a hemp and cannabis hub thanks to the vision of mastergrower Natie Ferreira. 

Ferreira has finally slashed through red tape and got his hemp permit from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) after a 6 month wait. He is now legally allowed to grow 8 ha of hemp at the historic winelands farm, owned by ARC, which will now be called the Bien Donne Cannabis and Research Training Centre.

Marinda Louw Coetzee writes in Farmers Weekly (22 July 2022) that Ferreira’s permit includes old farm orchards, a barn that will be converted into an experimental kitchen and food factory. “The centre will focus on the cultivation of hemp for various uses, including food and fibre. In addition, a number of buildings and open spaces on the farm will be developed to house income-generating facilities such as a deli/restaurant, a dispensary and a nursery.” Key to the development is a hemp production training facility.

Ferreira’s permit allows him to propagate, sell and export hemp seeds and plants and is authorized under the Plant Improvement Act (PIA).

He told Farmers Weekly that the permit opened the way to a broader vision that included

bio-prospecting agreements with the local /Xam Bushmen, which he hoped would “preserve and develop these people’s cultural and ancestral knowledge of various indigenous plants.”

Ferreira, who has been involved in agriculture for the past two decades, is a specialist in “biodynamics and foodscaping”. The farm’s initial focus will be on hemp as a food crop with the fibre to be used for hempcrete.

From a cultivation perspective, the hemp will be planted outdoor in September with a view to harvest for grain in December and then another crop will be planted under lighting in January. Planting is done by hand and pest control procedures are similar to those used on tomatoes.

“At Bien Donne, we’re currently planting 30 to 50 plants a square metre with an intra-row spacing of between 10 cm and 50 cm, and 40 cm to 120 cm between the rows” said Ferreira.

“We farm organically, so we use natural methods and bought-in predatory mites to combat pests. Harvesting and post-harvest processes will also be done by hand”.

He says the soil and climate at Bien Donne are “ideal for incorporating vegetables into a mixed farming concern and the cultivation and preservation of heritage vegetables and indigenous crops will further diversify the operation.”


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