Police and the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) are clamping down on illegal cannabis and cannabis-related products. Picture: NQOBILE MBONAMBI/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Cape Town -  Police and the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) are clamping down on illegal cannabis and cannabis-related products, sales of which have mushroomed online.

They said the establishment of illegal dispensaries/outlets, online sites and social media platforms that were marketing and selling cannabis and cannabis-related products to the public was illegal, except where it was specifically allowed in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act.

The warning comes after the Constitutional Court in September last year decriminalised the possession, consumption and private cultivation of the herb at home.

Concourt found that provisions of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act were inconsistent with the right to privacy in prohibiting the cultivation of cannabis by an adult in a private place for personal consumption in private. Smoking of cannabis in public or in the presence of children or in the presence of non-consenting adults is not allowed.

The police and Sahpra said some of the illegal businesses, purporting to be operating legally in terms of the Traditional Health Practitioners Act (No 22 of 2007), were also being sold to the public as authorised franchises.

Western Cape police spokesperson Andre Traut said the warning was applicable to the province as well.

Together, the department warned that cannabis (the whole plant or parts or products thereof) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the psychoactive substance that gives one a “high”) are currently listed as Schedule 7 substances in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965, except when present in processed hemp fibre and products containing not more than 0.1% of THC or when present in processed products made from cannabis seed containing not more than 0.001% of THC, or used for medicinal purposes.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is listed as a Schedule 4 substance.

Certain CBD-containing preparations have been excluded from the operation of the schedules by the Minister of Health for a time-limited period, the police and Sahpra added.

CBD-containing preparations for medicinal use are excluded when they contain a maximum daily dose of 20mg of CBD with an accepted low-risk claim.

Cape Times