In September 2018, South Africa’s constitutional court decriminalised the personal use and growth of cannabis, the court gave the government two years to implement new legislation and create a framework for private cannabis cultivation, possession and consumption.
According to Mail & Guardian, the new Regulation of Cannabis Bill -officially drafted by the ministry of justice- was sent to the national director of public prosecutions, the department of health, treasury and other affected departments in October 2019 for comment. Their reviews had to be in last month on 31 January 2020. The draft will then go to Cabinet for approval before being heard in Parliament and opened for public comment.
The bill – which government hopes to pass by September – will provide guidelines as to how much cannabis a person can grow and possess, but purchasing and selling will remain a crime with harsh repercussions. The bill does not yet fully address the commercialisation of cannabis or licensing. Below outlined is a breakdown of the most notable legislation being proposed in the new Regulation of Cannabis Bill.
1 | A person may possess up to 600g of dried cannabis per person or a maximum of 1200g per household with two or more adults living in it.
2 | The purchase and selling of cannabis will remain a criminal offence with jail sentences of up to 10 years remaining in place for trafficking of large quantities of cannabis.
3 | Possession of more than the individual amount, but less than a trafficable amount, carries a jail sentence of between two and six years.
4 | Public possession is capped at a maximum of 60g of dried cannabis, but public consumption will remain illegal.