South Africa’s new cannabis bill – here’s what you need to know

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.

Read More | Finance Minister Tito Mboweni believes legalising cannabis is the way forward for SA’s economy

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.

Read the full story on Mail & Guardian and the latest cannabis news right here.




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  1. This is all wel but they must look into controlled dispensing like in certified T/Dr that use cannabis to treat people. At least then the government can still clape there taxes. All the street trading is where they loos there taxes. This wil create a lot of new job opportunities for small scale mammer and shop owners. I am willing to open my practice to the medical board and the SAPS so that we can work together to find or put in place a system to govern and controle the buying and selling of medical cannabis. Theres many people whi cant grow for them self, so they need somewhere they can buy proper medical cannabis and cannabis products and not the uncontrolled stuff they buy on the street

    1. I think you need a means to sell it that it can be taxed. I say you, because I am an American and I know this works in some of our states. But pot is a weed, and allowing uninhibited growth of reasonable amounts by people who care to do so will allow even the poor to have access. Selling it without taxation hurts no everyone. Allowing street selling should be illegal as it circumvents the collection of taxes that would be so useful in helping keep personal taxes down while funding a vital government.

  2. This is a trap for anyone skilled in the growing of cannabis and forces a culture of grow your own. So those who have mastered the art if growing getting sentenced and those who need it have to first learn to grow their medicine and can’t buy any because their friendly gardener is sitting in jail! Cops will love this. Growers must quickly teach cannabis growing, that’s the industry being gestated. Thanks for sharing this and opening the discussion.

  3. This Draft Bill is unconstitutional as it presumes to dictate to a private adult what their possession and consumption may be, whereas the judgment called Cannabis a PRIVATE right, so everyone has a PRIVATE right to decide on how much Cannabis they prefer. The SAP and state must prove real dealing before any prosecution may happen. Using limits on quantities as a means to continue the police state is going to be challenged as soon as this is circulated for public comment .

  4. This definitely needs to be properly monitored by the public. Keep your eyes on everything and stay involved in this process. We need to spend a lot of time and effort in doing the most to be as far left as possible on the legalization of marijuana as we can see how it can positively add to our life styles and economy!

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