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High Court bid to legally recognize SA private cannabis clubs

The Haze Club; SA Cannabis Clubs

A legal bid to force the South African justice system to recognize the legality of private cannabis clubs is underway. Lawyers representing The Haze Club (THC), are expected to apply to the High Court next week to issue a declaratory order confirming that the grow club model is legal. 

They are also calling for a stay of prosecution in the upcoming case of a THC director and an employee who are facing criminal charges for dealing in cannabis. The director maintains they were operating entirely within the law by growing cannabis for the THC private club. The two, who cannot be named, are due to appear in the Wynberg Magistrates Court in Cape Town on 26 January 2021.

Read all stories about SA Cannabis Clubs here!

Lawyer Andrew MacPherson of Ward Brink Attorneys, who is representing the THC director, believes there is no case.


The Haze Club;

Haze case has far-reaching implications for private cannabis clubs


“Our view is that the grow club model, particularly that implemented by THC, is totally legal – we drafted their terms and conditions. In this respect, it is our view that the criminal prosecution is misplaced as there is no crime which has been permitted, all operations are and were in line with the 2018 Constitutional Court Judgment”.

McPherson told Cannabiz Africa that the case is a significant one for the entire cannabis community which is why ‘we have gathered a significant and sizable legal team including two firms of attorneys, a junior advocate, and a senior counsel, all acting pro bono. We all believe in the case and its significance to the cannabis community and the commercialisation of cannabis and the rights of users and citizens alike to enjoy the rights conferred by the Constitutional Court judgment.


Lawyers will argue that private cannabis clubs are in line with the constitution


“We are therefore approaching the High Court for (a) a stay of prosecution in the criminal trial pending the relief in (b), and (b) to have the court issue a declaratory order confirming that the grow club model is legal. This would then dispose of the criminal trial as well as free up grow clubs to operate without fear of arrest or shut down, provided that they run their operations properly and in accordance with best practice.”

The case arises out of a police rate in late 2020 on THC’s grow-op in Ottery, Cape Town. The two were subsequently arrested even though they insisted they were operating within the law. 


See Showdown time folks, private cannabis clubs vs the SA justice system


THC is but one of a multitude of private cannabis clubs that have sprung up around the country in the last two years. Another major Cape Town cannabis club, the Cape Cannabis Club (also known as C3), suspended operations in mid-December 2020 to avoid police action and is likely to join the case as an amicus curiae (friend of the court), which would allow them to have a say in the proceedings.



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