CAPE TOWN – The Cannabis Development Council of SA (CDCSA) on Tuesday welcomed the ruling by the Constitutional Court for the private cultivation and use of cannabis, saying that this paved the way for South Africans to benefit from this multibillion-dollar industry.
In a statement released after the judgment the CDCSA said cannabis had the potential to create new pathways for rural development and uplifting marginalised communities with the introduction of a legal cannabis industry in South Africa.
“Based on sustainable models of food, fuel, fibre, and medicine production at a community level, birthing massive economic and empowerment opportunities for grassroot development. Giving a legal framework to the hundreds of thousands of existing cannabis farmers in SA by providing access to new value chains and markets,” it said.
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff) noted the ruling by the Constitutional Court, saying it recognised developments around the world where various countries are decriminalising it either for medicinal use, recreational purposes or for both.
“Some US states where the use of the plant has been legalised show a huge potential for job creation in both the medical production space and in the recreational space. In 2017 alone, it accounted for over 100 000 active jobs with billions of US dollars contribution to their economy,” the department said in its statement.
Daff is leading the inter-departmental team that is developing a new regulatory framework for hemp. The team is made up of: Daff, Health, Trade and Industry, Environmental Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Development as well as the SA Police Service. The team also includes state-owned entities (SOEs) such as Agricultural Research Council and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
Daff said its engagements with other departments as well as SOEs took place through this platform. “Much progress had been made in terms of dealing with technical matters regarding production of hemp, research and technology development, commercial feasibility and other related matters.”
– BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE