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Legal Knives out for SAHPRA over CBD guidelines

A groundbreaking legal challenge is looming that goes to the heart of the emerging South African cannabis economy. 


CTAA’s Thlopane: calling on industry support for the SAHPRA legal challenge

The Cannabis Trade Association Africa (CTAA) has come out guns blazing at the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) over current CBD parameters.  And in a “call to action” CTAA is asking other industry players to support it in order to speed up cannabis reform. 

Schindlers Attorneys, acting on behalf of the CTAA, has submitted this challenge to SAHPRA on 1 April 2020.

See Schindlers' Attorneys media release here.

CTAA claims SAHPRA favours big pharma over local farmers

In effect, the CTAA is accusing SAHPRA of undermining the National Cannabis Master Plan (NCMP) by:

  • Favouring “Big Pharma” multinationals at the expense of local cannabis community and entrepreneurial interests;
  • Creating punitive time-based hurdles for local aspirants who want to legitimately enter the medical marijuana market;
  • Coming up with “unjust and irrational” arbitrary guidelines that aren’t supported by evidence-based assumptions, and 
  • Being oblivious to consumer demand.

CTAA chairperson Tebego Thlopane fired a warning shot across SAHPRA’s bows during the NCMP virtual stakeholder workshop on 30 March 2021, when he claimed SA’s CBD limitations were “absurd”

Schindlers says it wants to galvanize public opinion into mounting a more comprehensive legal challenge and says that anyone wanting to participate in the campaign or contribute financially, should contact by no later than 19 April 2021.

Schindlers says the CTAA believes that there is a massive public interest in challenging this position and in continuing with its efforts to ensure that CBD products (which are effective, inexpensive and of a high quality) can be traded in South Africa, free of what it will argue are the arbitrary limitations imposed by the DOH. 

“The CTAA would like to ventilate, inter alia, the following jurisprudential issues: 

  1. Whether “cognitive liberty” and “bodily autonomy” endow all human beings with the inalienable right to go wherever they please to and within their own bodies and minds, as well as with the freedom to ingest whatever they wish, as long as it does not harm others or them- selves sufficiently to place an undue burden on state resources. 
  2. Whether SAHPRA and/or the DOH can legitimately be the gatekeepers of all things “medicinal”. What of the rights to self-medicate and/or self- elevate?
  3. Whether the constitutional right to freedom of trade, occupation and profession is unjustifiably infringed by the State’s actions in stifling the emerging cannabis industry, especially relevant in the wake of economic destruction left behind by the Covid-19 pandemic. “

Read the current details of current CBD restrictions and what the CCDA is calling for here

CTAA says current SA CBD limits are not evidence-based

The  CTAA says “it wishes to emphasise that a strategic investment at this crucial juncture could yield very substantial dividends, by enabling the emergence of comprehensive, common-sense CBD regulations that allow for the establishment of a successful, sustainable and inclusive CBD industry, many years earlier than would otherwise be possible”. 

The CTAA says that just its founding members had supported the Traditional and Natural Healers Association (TNHA) in fighting for the first rescheduling of CBD of 23 May 2019, it now requires support from any members of the public with an interest in fighting for the liberation of the CBD industry. 

The nature of the support required is both in terms of resources and funding. Schindlers will provide further details on request.

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