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Medical marijuana given green light in South Africa: report

Medical marijuana given green light in South Africa: report

Government has taken its first official steps in legalising the manufacture of marijuana for medicinal use, according to a report by The Mercury.

This follows a letter sent by the Medical Control Council to IFP MP, Narend Singh (subsequently verified by The Mercury) which indicated it would publish its proposed guidelines on cannabis production for medicinal use within the coming months, following the IFP’s presentation to the council earlier in February.

“This is a major breakthrough and fantastic news for freedom of choice,” said Singh.

Speaking in tribute of late IFP MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, a long-time advocate for the legalisation of marijuana in South Africa, Singh noted that while Oriani-Ambrosini had strongly advocated that the drug also be used for recreational use, the IFP alongside other lawmakers had agreed to withdraw any mention of non-medicinal use in the legalisation bill so that it passed muster.

This was reiterated the South African Medical Association who warned that access to legal marijuana will follow a strict set of guidelines.

“On 23 November, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health announced that the Department of Health would soon regulate access to medical cannabis for prescribed health conditions,” said Sama chairman, Mzukisi Grootboom.

“The public, and healthcare professionals, should note, however, that the Medical Innovation Bill seeks to allow cannabis for medical purposes only. The bill, and the regulatory framework to be introduced by the Health Department, do not apply to cannabis for recreational purposes, which remains illegal in South Africa.”

The new rules

The Medicines Control Council is South Africa’s drug regulatory authority which is governed by the Medicines and Related Substances Act.

  • Under this Act, medical practitioners can apply to the Council for permission to access and prescribe unregistered medicines – including cannabis – for their patients in certain exceptional circumstances.
  • Medicinal cannabis products may thus be made available to specific patients under medical supervision.
  • Only registered medical practitioners may apply for authorisation to prescribe a controlled medicine for a specific patient.
  • Authorisation from the council is dependent on the submission of an appropriate dosage regimen and acceptable justification for the proposed and intended use.
  • The necessary procedures for approval of the importation of suitable cannabis products for medicinal use by patients with defined medical conditions are already in place.
  • Licensed domestic cultivation of medicinal cannabis will be aimed at ensuring the supply of a standardized, quality assured product for medical, scientific and clinical research purposes, and the implementation of control measures necessary to prevent misuse and to ensure patient safety.
  • Cannabis grown / cultivated for medicinal purposes, as well as any resulting products prepared from the plant material, will remain subject to stringent security and quality control measures.
  • The legislative framework to allow for domestic cultivation of medicinal cannabis is currently under development by the Department of Health in consultation with the Medicines Control Council

Read: These are the most feared crimes in South Africa


BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
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  • rambo919

    Gonna still take a while for a working system to get in place….

  • NosySnoopy

    The ANC organised for Schabir Shaik to be released on medical parole, imagine how they will pull strings when this becomes law. The SONA might get even more interesting to watch and showerhead’s counting might just improve. Protests might get more mellow and KFC’s shares will skyrocket because of the onset of the munchies.

  • OWL

    Hmm. One can already source it via Price check, so the legislation is lagging badly.

  • Tokolosh Nkosi

    The Government can now tax it and get more money for the fiscus. The USA are apparently getting billions in tax from legalising it and taxing it.

    • Viper_ZA

      Sure, but then again it’s not like the taxes will go towards improvement of our ailing health system.

      • Gabrielle Simone

        Denver, Colorado Our tax income from pot goes to upkeep of schools, and building new as needed but it’s not billions. Last year we got about 119 million. Just an fyi. 😀

        • AgentMulders

          Still $119mil tax for a single city where that would have been 100% black market money

    • Bergie

      I don’t think that is the model they have in mind. The tax in the US comes from sales from recreational cannabis, not medical cannabis. The guidelines have also not been issued around what form will be available and who will be able to get it, so while this is a breakthrough, it is by no means ideal as of yet

  • OhGee1

    Good just in time coz my “Glycoma” is acting up again.. Wonder if my medical aid will pay for it under ‘chronic’ medicines??

    • tongue in cheek

      maybe Discovery can discover their backbone and lead the industry in this

  • Tariq

    Get ready for GMO weed. No thanks.

    • Shana Da Costa

      lol actually ya u right. ugh

  • ToothyGrinn

    Breath deep!

  • So nothing new correct ?
    “On 23 November, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health announced that the Department of Health would soon regulate access to medical cannabis for prescribed health conditions,” said Sama chairman, Mzukisi Grootboom. ”

    So this article is just a rehash.. Old news..

    • A rehash… you say 🙂

    • Rob Van Vee

      I might be wrong but I think the “news” is that as of today its schedule rating was downgraded from 7 to 6 by the MCC.

      • It was? I wasn’t aware of the bill passing and thought it was up for review in April.

    • “This follows a letter sent by the Medical Control Council to IFP MP, Narend Singh” That letter was probably sent through the Post Office (3 months delayed delivery), so the article is right up to date with the latest information available.

      • Ok thank you. I see it is the latest news. Thanks for reporting on this.

  • Ubaba meet Baba

    So the gogo in the hills must now trek to her nearest city, cough up to see a specialist and pay top dollar for imported weed……when it’s growing outside her window?

    Stop playing games and legalize the plant!

    • Akella

      legalize dagga = kill black market, it’s THE LAST government wants!!

    • tongue in cheek

      absolutely!

  • RodneyVikens

    “You see it is working doctor” (Giggle, giggle, giggle) “Let me try” (giggle, giggle,giggle) “Now what did I say doctor” (Giggle, giggle, giggle) “Ja nee, this stuff is really working.” (giggle, giggle, giggle)

    • Lynda Jones

      Medical marijuana has a much lower concentration of anything that makes people giggle. It is other true medicinal qualities in the plant that make it useful.

      • tongue in cheek

        correct high CBD levels vs high THC9 levels

    • tongue in cheek

      so are you saying #1’s staple response to anything serious in a “live”media platform is weed induced? he he he.

  • Daggastem

    😀

  • NitzMan

    Officer: “How high are you, son?”
    Dude: “No officer, it’s ‘Hi, how are you?'”

    • Akella

      Kid knocks at the door.
      -Hey, mom, it’s me!
      -Nope, stranger! Mom is ME!!

      • Bonzo Pillay

        Why go to high school when you can go to school high

  • Lynda Jones

    Don’t knock the provisional acceptance, folks. My grandson is Aspergers. Either my daughter can put him on dangerous chemical drugs which basically turn him into a walking zombie, or she can give him medical cannabis- which he’s been taking for the past 6 years- in the USA, where she can get it. Maybe they can come home now….

    • maybe you should set up home in USA instead…I wish i could – their president can at least count.

      • Bergie

        Not so sure about that. Trump is certainly as bad an orator as Zuma.

  • Lynda Jones

    Oh, ja, and it also goes a long way to helping him control his OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) – which is a terrible curse that enchains the victim of the disorder.

  • Wulvz

    Now we will have more clowns in Parliament high as a kite on “Medical Marijuana”

    • Jibbers Crabst

      If anything, it may help the situation. I really can’t see how weed would make it any worse than it already is.

    • Better than getting high on pepper spray. 😉

  • Akella

    These clowns are pathetic. Believe me, 10-20 years past and EVERY COUNTRY makes dagga legal – it’s just matter of time. Now look from future into today and wonder how ridiculous these politics are! “prohibit that”, “prohibit this”…. just morons with “power complex” + “make it illegal = make it expensive on black market”. Guess who is the main mafia in SA?….

  • Rob Van Vee

    A small step in the right direction but people are going to have to go through an excruciating process to get their meds at exorbitant prices when it could be grown in their garden for free. Total bull$h!t

    • Gabrielle Simone

      From Denver, Colorado each citizen is allowed to have 6 plants for personal use. If you get caught sharing or giving it to someone else, it’s a federal offense. Makes sense duh!

      • OhGee1

        One question though – how would they know you are sharing it? I mean if my buddy comes to my house and we decide to light one up from my stash would the cops come busting through the door in full swat gear and bust my @ss for sharing weed?

  • swaziland

    This is a good move, actually this is overdue. This will help a lot than taking chemicals from pharmaceuticals.I am sure they will oppose this because, some will loose billions. The sooner the better people are dying out there. Tax or no tax, peoples lives are important.

    • Bergie

      I think the pharma companies may be the ones who own the rights to sell this product. And it will probably be a synthetic version anyway, I doubt it will be in bud form

    • Adam Young

      No, I think the medical marijuana train has too much momentum to stop it altogether. The way big pharma will deal with this is to corner the market – they will lobby the government to make sure the requirements to be a producer are impossible to meet without major industrial resources.

  • WhoisJohanGalt

    Thank you that’s all I needed to read “Licensed domestic cultivation” … I’ll see the mcc in court!

  • Chris

    Its a step, but the step is way to small. We must legalize it and get it over and done with! I’ve got 24 hectares jsut waiting for it to be legalized!

    • wow! Would love to help you make use of those once it is legal. 😀

      • Chris

        We will start small 1 at a time, but I would love to grow my own.

  • Have you been a victim of any of these crimes? (Choose all that apply)

    ERROR: Maximum amount of choices: 1

    GJ

    • That survey made me giggle

  • Ray Mulder

    I’m going home now to get sick… Just have to find which disease I have to contract to get the ‘stuff’.

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