At the end of November, the KwaZulu-Natal government started truly encouraging local farmers and entrepreneurs to invest in and grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. The intention being that KZN aims to be the leading province in cannabis exportation. And for a reasonable fee of R23 000, you can grab yourself a commercial dagga license and start growing herb.
On a commercial scale, this seems like a fair price. Unfortunately though, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the necessary requirements. On top of this, what is required to own a cannabis farm and obtain a dagga license includes fenced off, secure land; appropriate lighting; approval from the Department of Health and probably a lot more that we’re not aware of.
This all seems like a bit of a ballache if you ask me, but it’s what’s necessary to grow the local industry. The KZN government is calling upon ordinary South Africans to jump at the chance that they and this potential industry is providing. The belief being that those who have worked with cannabis in the past, although illegally, have the potential to use their expertise in a legal market. With the main focus being those in rural areas, they hope to stimulate the economy while simultaneously providing more jobs.
If all goes according to plan, and the government kicks it up a gear, the belief is that the local cannabis industry could be worth a whopping 26 billion rand by 2023. Just imagine the jobs and opportunities that this one plant could provide if all goes according to plan and the focus of the authorities is in the right places.
KZN seems like prime territory for cannabis exportation, having two of globally recognised harbours. However, there is a slight concern that the main focus seems to be exportation of cannabis and not a deeper focus on the potential industry within South Africa. It may be smarter to find a balance of the two rather than ravaging the local resources for export only. Our country is filled with people who would appreciate a greater focus on the local cannabis industry – something that they have been waiting decades for.
With that said, local departments of KZN are willing and ready to help locals access necessary land, testing and various other resources in the agricultural sphere. It’s a decent step in the right direction on their part, showing they may just be serious about this cannabis industry. Once the floodgates open, there will be a greater opportunity for a deeper focus on the internal cannabis industry.
Another cog in the local cannabis industry begins to turn, and now we wait some more.
If you ain’t chokin’, you ain’t tokin
– Stoner Steve