EAST LONDON - If the Eastern Cape plays its cards right to formalise its cannabis industry, the province could have thriving economy, provincial premier Oscar Mabuyane said on Thursday.
Mabuyane was speaking during a cannabis stakeholder engagement at the International Convention Centre in East London.
The stakeholder engagement was organised by the Eastern Cape department of rural development and agrarian reform to discuss issues such of legalisation which includes a license application process, market analysis and economic contribution to the provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mabuyane said: "Our agenda is to create a thriving, legal cannabis economy in our province to create jobs for our people. This means we must want to focus on using cannabis for medicinal use to cure ailments such as asthma, we want to use it to manufacture products such as fiber that is used to build aeroplanes, we want to use it as clothing material, we want to use it to produce bio-fuels and other essentials products that are used globally."
He said a study by Interpol in 2004 placed South Africa in fourth place among the largest producers of cannabis, with most of it being produced in the Eastern Cape.