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CANNABIS INDUSTRY 

BREAKING  NEWS

NCOP Signs Off on Cannabis Bill, Now It’s Up To Ramaphosa To Write It Into Law

NCOP Signs Off on Cannabis Bill, Now It’s Up To Ramaphosa To Write It Into Law

The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill was signed off by the National Council of Provinces on 27 February 2024 and it’s up to the President to bring it into law, even though there are still serious stakeholder reservations that may end up in a petition.

William Brederode, News 24

11 March 2024 at 09:00:00

This report was first published on News 24 on 28 February 2024.


Six years after cannabis was decriminalised in South Africa, a bill to clear up uncertainties in the industry is finally heading to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s desk.


On 27 February 2024, the National Council of Provinces passed the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill, which is set to introduce a new set of regulations to determine the legal usage, cultivation and transportation of cannabis.


There were 40 votes in favour of the bill and only three against.


The bill was approved by the National Assembly in November last year.


Following a 2018 constitutional court ruling, the personal and private cultivation, possession and use of dagga for adults was decriminalised in South Africa.


But the ruling left huge question marks regarding what constitutes an offence; the amount of dagga that can be legally used or cultivated; and how the law should be enforced by authorities have blunted the industry.


The bill seeks to address some of these uncertainties by providing clearer definitions for terms, removing dagga as an offence in terms of the Drugs Act, and stipulating the consequences for offences such as dealing in cannabis, providing cannabis to a child and being in possession of excessive quantities of dagga without an appropriate permit.


The amount of dagga that will be classified as being in violation of certain rules will be stipulated in further regulation.


These limits will not apply to an entity that has acquired a license or permit as may be provided for in other legislation.


There are still many questions from stakeholders.


Rozayne Malyo, the co-founder of the Cannabis Development Council of South Africa - who also heads up Think Green Consulting, a cannabis consulting organisation - said that concerns raised about the impact of the legislation on traditional healers and the Rastafari were ignored during the public participation process.


"We only have one option, which is to petition the president not to sign the bill or, if he signs it into law, we ask that he may not bring it into operation pending a court challenge," she said.


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