This week the Eastern Cape provincial government approved a proposal for a marijuana training centre. Rural Development MEC Nomakhosazana Meth said they want the province, known for their quality dagga, to be ready for commercialisation.
Nomakhosazana Meth has already attracted Canadian investors, who has committed to opening processing plants, training farmers and aiding in marketing, once the legal framework is put in place.
The Provincial Government sees the college as an opportunity for job creation. The college will provide training in growing and distribution, and will assist farmers in fencing, seeds, and fertilisers.
On Thursday 13 February at the State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Ramaphosa announced plans to regulate the commercial use of cannabis and hemp products, formulate policy for medicinal use, and provide small-scale farmers with more opportunities.
South Africa is already the third largest marijuana producer in Africa at 2 300 tons. The SA government has realised the potential of the industry and wants to place us in line with the global trend.
Ramaphosa continued that the regulatory steps will be announced by the relevant ministers soon. Our president will have to stick to his word as this short announcement has excited the cannabis community who expressed their enthusiasm on social media.
In 2018 cannabis health supplements were de-scheduled for 12 months, which allowed the manufacture, import and sale of cannabis-related products without THC. This exemption will expire in May 2020, yet the government has time until September 2020 to finalise new cannabis legislation. The President’s SONA announcement gave cannabis lovers a glimmer of hope that the legal process move at a faster pace from here on out.