Ntsika Majiba, IOL News
The Cape Town Cannabis Expo held last month highlighted the Western Cape’s rising importance as a premier cannabis region. Organizer Silas Howarth says this was evident from the number of networking events and opportunities which drew considerable international interest and a lot of feet through the doors.
IOL reports that Silas Howarth, the organiser and director of the Cannabis Expo, that took place last week in Cape Town, said that there is so much excitement around the local cannabis industry.
“This is because of the huge potential we have as a region for producing quality cannabis and cannabis products at an affordable price, to supply an ever-growing local and international demand.
The global industry is taking note and we saw a large increase in attending international delegates at the Cape Town expo, networking and concluding deals with South African and Southern African cannabis entrepreneurs and businesses,” he said.
Howarth said last week's Cannabis Expo was the biggest they have had yet, in which African cannabis business opportunities were discussed. He said next year’s expo will focus on attracting even more international exhibitors, and delegates to help continue the rapid growth of the Western Cape.
Premier Alan Winde supports all efforts to boost employment and investment in the Western Cape.
“The incipient cannabis industry offers us opportunities to further diversify our economy and skills development. This sector has massive potential for SMMEs, which we should harness. The province’s agriculture sector, generally, remains among our most robust and resilient industries. Therefore, incorporating cannabis into our fertile agricultural fold is being considered,” he said.
MEC for agriculture, Ivan Meyer said the department’s Cannabis Framework and Implementation Plan, the "CanPlan", will be launched soon.
“The CanPlan provides guidelines for establishing cannabis (medicinal cannabis) and hemp crops in the Western Cape. Our view is that the development, growth and success of the cannabis industry requires a value chain approach to ensure that the Western Cape benefits from this booming industry.
“The industry has the potential to absorb all skill levels, including low, semi, and skilled labour. Tapping into this will contribute to growing our rural economy and creating jobs,” he said.
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