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Brett Hilton Barber

22/05/24, 22:00

Alleged illegal dumping by license-holders is hurting traditional growers

Respected lawyer shocks parliamentarians with bombshell claims

Certain cannabis cultivators licensed by the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) were illegally dumping their non-exportable flower locally. This startling claim was made in Parliament on 24 May 2022 by lawyer Ricky Stone during his presentation on the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill.


SAHPRA cannabis licenses are awarded only for the export of cannabis and related products and are limited domestically to a handful of Section 21 companies who are pioneering prescription medical cannabis.

Stone, who represents the uMzimvubu Farmers Support Network, said he the illegal dumping was on such a scale that it was causing a cannabis stockpile in traditional growing areas.


Stone said that the rights of traditional farmers to grow cannabis was recognized under international customary law, as this amounted to their livelihood developed over hundreds of years. He said he had been mandated by traditional growers to take the matter up with SAHPRA. There are 57 SAHPRA-licensed cannabis operations in South Africa.

Alleged illegal dumping by license-holders is hurting traditional growers

“There is clear evidence in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng of SAHPRA-licensed operators dropping their product into illegal markets” Stone told MP’s, adding that the alleged culprits were “big established agricultural entities. “We are raising this with the appropriate forums and certainly will be taking it further”.


Stone said the dumping had a direct effect on traditional growers who were becoming marginalized under cannabis reform. “The Mpondoland farmers have become poorer in the past year, many are slipping below the breadline as they cannot sell their product.”


ACDP MP Steve Swart was the most horrified and asked how control over SAHPRA license holders should be excercised in the future. “How do you prevent this going forward?” he asked.


Stone replied that “this undesirable situation had arisen precisely because there is no domestic market, and the Bill does not cater for one”.

He said a legal domestic regulated adult use market was the only way to avoid such issues in the future.

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Ricky Stone Tells Parliament: SAHPRA License Holders Illegally Dumping Flower Into Markets in 3 SA Provinces