"Our position as the Eastern Cape government is for an inclusive legislative process which must protect the indigenous growers of cannabis."
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Tuesday, pinned some of his hopes for the Eastern Cape's struggling economy on the legalisation of the cannabis industry
Mabuyane announced that he had instructed the two special economic zones, in Nelson Mandela Bay and East London, to "aggressively attract" investors for cannabis production in the province.
He said the establishment of the Wild Coast special economic zone was progressing well and that the provincial government's intention was to "use it to unlock the entire agriculture value chain in the eastern side of our province".
"The emerging cannabis economy offers boundless opportunities for the revival of our economy through the development of cannabis for industrial and medicinal use. Our position as the Eastern Cape government is for an inclusive legislative process which must protect the indigenous growers of cannabis.
"We are engaging national departments and authorities for the issuing of hemp permits and cannabis licences to farmers and investors in the Eastern Cape."
He explained that his instruction to the special economic zones was premised...