President Cyril Ramaphosa says that the government will fast-track regulations for the cannabis industry in South Africa.
The president said in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday evening (10 February), that hemp and cannabis production can create 130,000 new jobs.
He said that the government will review the policy and regulatory framework for a whole number of processes – which, he said, will come as sweet news for people in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal – for industrial hemp and cannabis to realise ‘huge’ potential for investment and job creation.
He said that these products, which have been farmed for numerous purposes in the past, will now be industrialised. “We want to harness this,” the president said.
“We are going to fast-track policy and regulations for the use of cannabis for medicinal use, especially in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.”
The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill is currently making its way through parliament following its introduction in September 2020.
The bill outlines possession rules for cannabis users at home and people who wish to cultivate the plant. It also introduces new offences and provisions for people who previously received a criminal record for cannabis possession.
The draft bill states that an adult person may for personal use:
- Possess the prescribed quantity of cannabis plant cultivation material;
- Cultivate the prescribed quantity of cannabis plants in a private place;
- Possess in private the prescribed quantity of cannabis in a public place;
- Possess the prescribed quantity of cannabis in a private place;
- Possess in private the prescribed quantity of cannabis plants in a public place.
The bill defines a ‘private place’ as any place, including a building, house, room, shed, hut, tent, mobile home, caravan, boat or land or any portion thereof, to which the public does not have access as of right.