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SA Cannabis Reform: Nedlac Picks Up the Ball as Key Economic Players Embrace Cannabis

South Africa’s plans to legalize cannabis have taken a major step forward with the presentation of the National Cannabis Master Plan (NCMP) to the country’s major economic stakeholders.  The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, Rural Development (DALRRD) made the presentation to Land Affairs Nedlac’s Trade and Industry Chamber on Thursday 27 May 2021.

 

NCMP now in the Nedlac process

Nedlac convener Judy Blom confirmed to Cannabiz Africa that the NCMP had “indeed been tabled at Nedlac and will follow the Nedlac process”.

There’s been no official confirmation from DALRDD as what exactly was tabled and where the NCMP goes from here. However, it is clear that its minister Thoko Didiza, wants hemp to be separated from cannabis legally by October so that hemp permits can be issued before the NCMP is necessarily finalized.

Nedlac’s Trade and Industry Chamber is made up representatives from the government, big business and organized labour and submissions are allowed in the following four categories

  • Category 1: issues that require a tweaking of proposals or minimal engagement: to be dealt with within three months;
  • Category 2: extensive engagement between stakeholders to be deal with within six months;
  • Category 3: issues or proposals that require further systematic research or information, in which case the stakeholders determine the timetable;
  • Category 4: Green Papers: to be signed off in one meeting or within three months

 

‘Next two years are vital’

Given Minister Didiza’s own hemp timetable, it is likely that DALRDD’s proposal was tabled as a Category 1 or 2 proposal.  The Chamber is considering the NCMP within its broader agricultural policy framework which is focused on agro-processing and trade.

International cannabis commentator Oliver Bennet (see Thought Leader) says it’s crucial that the Nedlac process does not lose momentum and that the NCMP bring smaller-scale farmers onboard:

 

“As the next two years are expected to prove instrumental in South Africa’s cannabis industry, it is vitally important that the country be inclusive about its gigantic opportunities”.

 

See all NCMP coverage here: https://www.cannabiz-africa.com/category/news/national-cannabis-master-plan/

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