Early in January, Tito took to Twitter to show his support for the legalisation of cannabis in South Africa. He even went as far as showing some cannabis plants growing on his property, calling out the police to come and arrest him. This is in light of numerous arrests happening within the cannabis community despite a statement made by Sitole on unlawful arrests.
Mboweni has been highly active on Twitter lately campaigning for the cannabis plant. He is under the impression that the potential revenue that a legal cannabis industry could bring may be an answer to many of South Africa’s financial troubles.
While on his farmland in Limpopo, Mboweni remained active on his account saying that “Legalizing this thing = more tax revenue”, which would go a long way to his plans of radical economic transformation. Previous tweets have shown that Tito believes a potential 4 billion Rand entering the local economy via legal cannabis is much needed after the many shortfalls in other areas of South Africa’s economy.
As exciting as this is for the cannabis community, not everyone was all that impressed with Tito’s cannabis plans. Some replies to his tweets showcase other methods of increasing tax revenue by simply fixing what is currently broken, not introducing another platform for the government to break. Some question who will be able to obtain licenses to sell and grow – will it be equally accessible or only for a special, friendly few? Some are even asking Tito to tell his friends to stop misusing government funds.
It would be an amazing development for the cannabis industry in South Africa. However, there is cause for concern on the management of the industry and ensuring that money is put into the right places or that tax makes it into the right, fair hands. As we’ve seen with many other industries in South Africa, this is most likely not going to be the case.