It Takes "More Than A Nod From the Commander in Chief to Get the Joint Rolling", Compliance is the Name of the Game for the Private Sector
Globally the cannabis and hemp market are thriving, and African countries are significant contributors to the supply chain. According to The African Cannabis Report, global sales of cannabis-related products and cannabis could reach a total of $102 billion by 2026.
Johann Slabber, CEO Origo Group
23 December 2022 at 06:00:00
South Africa is still in the early stages of overcoming the various legal, political, and social obstacles it takes to become a major player in the industry but its favourable climate, loosening laws, viable farming land and pre-existing experience in agriculture and hemp production makes it a promising contender.
The medicinal cannabis market is particularly promising, because nations around the world are beginning to legalise its use for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and chronic pain.
Germany recently became the largest and most developed market, with other European countries steadily allowing for its use to treat medical conditions. These countries have been turning to South African producers to source medical cannabis products, because these must often meet the strict regulatory requirements imposed by foreign governments.
Lesotho is leading the medical cannabis charge in the region, but the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has already issued 76 licences for growing medicinal cannabis. And this is only the beginning.
There is also a strong pharmaceutical and medical research presence in South Africa, making it an ideal location for research into medicinal cannabis.
In President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2022 State of the Nation address, he announced plans for the growth of the cannabis and hemp industry, recognising the industry’s potential for investment. According to Ramaphosa, “the legal hemp and cannabis sector has the potential to create more than 130 000 new jobs in South Africa”.
In 2021, the South African cannabis industry had an estimated worth of R87.7 million. By 2026 this figure is projected to reach R406.3 million, with a projected growth rate of 28.4%.
But it doesn’t just take a nod from the commander-in-chief to get the joint rolling – those interested in the cannabis industry still must ensure that they’re legally compliant.
Different countries regulate the growth and use of marijuana on varying levels, but South Africa has recently found itself on the lax end of the legal spectrum.
Major strides were made in early 2022, as amendments to the Cannabis for Private Purposes bill were tabled in parliament, which will allow for the commercialisation of the sale of cannabis – having previously allowed for only personal, private use.
According to one report: “This subsequent legislation would regulate the recreational industry under a licensing scheme that would provide for different categories of licences for cultivation, sale and processing of cannabis.”
This is big news for commercial producers, as well as those in rural areas who have historically been involved in cultivating South Africa’s cannabis industry.
Local governments are also getting on board; KwaZulu-Natal recently announced its intention to form a committee to oversee the development of the cannabis industry in the province.
This comes after Ramaphosa announced that the province would lead the charge in establishing the cannabis industry. This committee will oversee the monitoring, regulatory compliance and technological innovation in the cannabis and hemp industry.
High altitude, plenty of sunlight, and an abundance of land (unsuitable for food crops, but great for hemp) make South Africa an ideal location for productive cannabis crops.
Voice of Reason from Mpondoland: Chief Zwelinkhanyile Diko Tells Parliament: Keep it Simple, Just Classify Local Landraces as Industrial Cannabis
The Chief made his submission to Parliament on 23 May 2023, saying that local landraces were used for a variety of purposes, including industrial use. He appealed to MP's to support the Mpondoland legacy growers as they were being increasingly marginalized by cannabis reform.
Justice Dept Admits No Rational Evidence Behind Plant Limits in Cannabis Bill as State Lawyers Come Under Fire in Parliament
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.
Cannabis in South Africa: The People’s Plant
We are a civil society organisation with the interests of the existing Cannabis industry and the Human Rights of ALL citizens at heart.
Resources & Equipment
Explore cannabis growing equipment for growing weed at home.
Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re looking to enhance your outdoor or indoor weed grow setup – we have the perfect range of cannabis growing equipment to match your marijuana growing ambitions.
Find everything from LED grow lights, grow tents, fans, and hydroponic setups, to environmental equipment and controls, harvesting accessories, extraction equipment and plenty more.
Design your ideal cannabis growing setup with high quality growing equipment available in South Africa.
Explore cannabis growing equipment we’ve curated from reliable online suppliers in South Africa