South Africa: SA and Legal Cannabis - Profits Should Be Reaped, but Like Any Industry, There Are Also Risks

Photo: Pixabay
(file photo).
analysis

South Africa's cannabis conversation is shifting into a new gear, with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on the record as pushing for full legalisation. Such a move will be welcome, with plenty of economic potential to unlock. But others experiments with legal, regulated pot usage, and uniquely South African circumstances, highlight the potential risks as well.

Colorado, a mountainous US state better known for skiing and trout fishing, has been a trailblazer in pot policy. In a Rocky Mountain high, it was the first US state to "go legal", allowing the production and sale of marijuana for recreational and medical use.

That seems to be paying dividends. State coffers, for a start, have had an additional source of revenue. Total sales since legalisation in 2014 have amounted to $7.6-billion, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. From that, more than $1.2-billion in tax and licensing revenue has been collected -- and counting. In the 2019 fiscal year, the cannabis industry generated $302-million for the state, more than the sums garnered from either alcohol or tobacco sales.

A South African audience might look at that and think, wow -- that works out to roughly R5-billion. That's 25 Nkandla upgrades complete with fire...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.