Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane is looking to capitalize on the medical marijuana industry and hopes to make the province “home” to the cannabis industry in SA. Mabuyane is reportedly already taking in proposals and is in talks with potential international investors.
The premier is currently working on feasibility studies to register farms for the cultivation of cannabis in the Eastern Cape. When speaking to the City Press, Mabuyane said that individuals have been growing the plant in the province for decades and now there is an opportunity to formalise it and turn it into a lucrative industry.
Mabuyane said that there is a stigma around “getting high”, but his interests are more focused on what the international markets are doing, like in Europe and Canada, there is a larger industry built around the plant other than just smoking it – it can be used for medicines, biofuels, building materials, clothing and so much more. He also believes that while working through legal channels to formalise the industry, those who had already been growing the plants illegally should also be considered and “embraced” and be helped to register as legitimate farmers too.
It’s a huge business. We are looking at this cannabis industry as an industry that can definitely turn around [the economy] and it talks directly to our people where they are,” – Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane
This news comes just after the City of Cape Town recently announced its plans to free up vacant land to begin cultivating medical cannabis, while CBD, the no-psychoactive compound in cannabis was just fully legalised for sale and consumption in South Africa.
Please note the current laws regarding Cannabis are as follows:
- You may use it for your personal recreational or medicinal use, alone or with friends and family over the age of 18, in spaces not open to groups other than your own.
- Grow only as much as necessary for your personal use; where unsure, rather be conservative.
- Other than in the case of specific health supplements and processed hemp fibre detailed above, buying and selling cannabis or any cannabis-containing product is currently not legally permissible.