Earlier this month, the first licenses for cultivating medical marijuana in South Africa were granted to four SA companies who now have the right to grow and export medical dagga.
But what exactly does it take to obtain one of these licenses? Well firstly, the cost of setting up a facility to grow cannabis and get a licence is estimated to be between R3 million and R5 million according to a report by Landbouweekblad. The drip-irrigation system alone could set you back up to R2 million!
If you want to export cannabis for medicinal purposes, you will have to submit an application with SAPHRA, The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, previously the Medicine Control Council of SA (MCC). Before applying, you must first have a contract in place with an overseas buyer of your product. A permitted quantity will be given to cultivators depending on the contract in place with their foreigner buyer and the size of one’s facility.
The MCC will then inspect the plans for the facility. Aside from the space that needs approving, growers also need to adhere to a quality-control procedure, which will include:
– Recruitment forms for job applications
– Document management system
– Legal compliance system
– Details on how the dagga is being cultivated
– Manufacturing standards
– Systems for handling the dagga