Two liquor stores in Hermanus, Western Cape, have allegedly been told by the SAPS to stop selling Durban Poison Cannabis Lager pending an investigation.
Durban Poison owner, Graeme Bird, said he has tried explaining to police that the product is entirely legal, but the stores have not been given the go-ahead to resume sales.
“We've tried to explain the legality and that we are stocked already all over the country.”
The Durban Poison brew uses hemp seeds to add its unique flavour. Hemp and cannabis are the two main species within the cannabis family, but hemp is not highly psychoactive and is legal for commercial use in South Africa.
Surprisingly, it is also closely related to hops, which are traditionally used to flavour beer.
Bird has supplied police with a certificate of analysis from the National Analytic Forensic Services, which shows that there was zero traces of controlled substances THC, CBD or cannabinol detected in a sample of the beer.
SAPS spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana could not confirm that police had asked the stores to remove the product from shelves, but she did say police were investigating the Durban Poison Cannabis Lager.
“Hermanus police have opened an enquiry about the product for further investigation,” Rwexana said.
Bird said he would be flying to Cape Town to meet with representatives from Distell and Saps this coming week.
The Weekend Argus has seen an email from Hermanus police saying that orders came from Saps’ provincial liquor control unit to remove the product from all stockists.
“Yesterday (Monday) we received a telephone call from Provincial Liquor Control that all these products must be removed from the shelves of retailers selling this product,” the email read.
“The stores say the product is in demand so they aren't too happy,” Bird said.
“It's an interesting example of the lack of clear understanding about legality within this period of transition from prohibition until full legalisation. There really is a need for some internal education within Saps, given the constitutional court ruling.”