'Master Plan' to Boost South African Marijuana Commercialisation?

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) is on the verge of presenting a Cannabis Master Plan to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza said this was one of several masterplans that the department will finalise as part of setting targets and implementing interventions to increase production in the sector.

"An inter-departmental team comprising representatives from various departments was established to guide the development of the National Cannabis Master Plan with [the department] as the convener ... The Cannabis Master Plan is being presented to Nedlac before the end of May 2021. The department will, as of October 2021, begin issuing and monitoring permits for the production of hemp in South Africa," she said adding that in order to increase local production in the sector, a combination of interventions as well as different support systems will need to be implemented to realise this vision.

The move comes after The Black Farmers Association of South Africa (BFASA) took on the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) over the exclusion of indigenous people in the handing out of cannabis licenses. BFASA, whose vision is to ensure that there is transformation in the agriculture and farming sector and that there is equality irrespective of race, says Health Minister Zweli Mkhize must step down because he is to blame for the monopolising of the cannabis Industry.

InFocus

Cannabis farming in the Pondoland region of the Eastern Cape (file photo).

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