Licences for medical marijuana will be available by the end of the year: parliament

Potential growers of cannabis for medicinal purposes will be able to apply for licences before the end of the year, reports The Citizen.

Speaking to parliament’s portfolio committee on health on Wednesday, the Medicines Control Council’s Griffiths Molewa said that the council would approve regulations in the next few weeks.

These regulations will include who will be allowed to sell the drug, who it may be sold to, and how it must be grown and controlled.

Proposed guidelines for growing cannabis for medicinal purposes were originally published for comment in March.

The guidelines received widespread public attention with comments received from over 175 members of the public, 221 associations and NGO’s, four industry associations and two government departments.

How it will work

Speaking on Wednesday, health director-general Precious Matsoso said that a number of strict requirements would be in place to guard against abuses.

These requirements will include good agricultural practices, the vetting of staff, as well as a number of security measures.

“In terms of the growing process, the Agricultural Research Council has been applying, but now it’s a process that requires partnership between, among others, the department of agriculture, the department of science and technology and the department of trade and industry,” said Matsoso  .

“I’m hoping that for this purpose there will be an inter-ministerial committee. It’s something that’s so significant it requires that kind of response.”

Patients who would qualify for using the regulated drug will include people suffering from severe and chronic pain related to multiple sclerosis, cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Those suffering from severe seizures related to epilepsy would also be considered.

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