Cannabis activist and the founder of Canna Culture SA and the Cannabis Developing Council of South Africa, Krithi Thaver.

Durban - Underground cannabis activist and the founder of Canna Culture SA and chairperson of the Cannabis Developing Council of South Africa (CDCSA), Krithi Thaver, has been championing for cannabis change for 12 years.

Having educated people on the history, pros, cons and economic benefits of the flowering plant, Thaver decided to start the non-profit organisation Canna Culture SA, aimed at breaking the stigma that cannabis is a drug.

The plant offers over 50 000 different commercial and industrial products, including the manufacture of rope, clothing, food, paper, textiles and bio-fuel.

This, in turn, said Thaver, means different industries could be set up and in the process more jobs created.

“Job creation is certainly the first problem we hope to fix,” said Thaver.

“We would then be able to export our products that have been created from these mini industries that would need to be set up. This would be the starting point to a massive industrial sector.”

Thaver’s latest hemp cultivation project is expected to do exactly this - by providing jobs to thousands of local farmers.

Six farms were identified for cultivation and the farmers were enlightened on how to apply for the necessary, and controlled, research and development permits, that would help them grow cannabis.

Guidelines would be laid down by the CDCSA for farmers to follow. This includes cannabis being cultivated in specific areas and would further dictate how much can be grown.

“If any of these conditions are broken, their licences would be revoked. Furthermore, we are setting up a co-op plan for each province. This is aimed at stopping illicit activities and allowing those, who want to be involved in the regulated industry, an opportunity to trade legally.”

He said the idea, to set up a regulated industry for farmers, was borne after his involvement with Dube Tradeport a few months ago.

As chairperson of the CDCSA for KZN, Thaver was given an opportunity to dig into the plant's research process.