With the announcement yesterday at the SONA, Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the ANC government will, in 2020, open and regulate the usage of HEMP & MEDICAL Cannabis products.
The relevant ministries of said industries will make their formal announcements soon.
This move doesn’t fall short of international trends as many other nations have moved towards commercializing this once illicit plant.
The main objective according to Cyril Ramaphosa is to provide new opportunities to small-scale farmers, as well as South Africa wanting to play a part in the global $10.6bn and growing Hemp industry.
At present, it is illegal to grow or farm hemp Hemp in South Africa unless one has a special research permit. The Agricultural Research Council has found over 25000 uses for hemp. This includes textiles, accessories, cosmetics and general household items. Rob Davies – former Trade & Industry minister – stated that the government recognised the potential of commercial value chains of cannabis and related products. It will, therefore, consider the obstacles and opportunities for SA to become an active and innovative player in the growing hemp market.
A report released in 2019 showed that Africa’s legal cannabis industry could generate more than $7.1bn a year before 2023 if more of the continent’s major markets open up and follow the trend of legalisation seen in the US, Canada and Europe.
With South Africa’s climate, affordable land and cheap labour we not only offer local entrepreneurs a ripe opportunity within a new budding industry but are attracting many foreign entities to invest in our local economy.