Business

South Africa eyes green shoots in local cannabis industry

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


PRETORIA, South Africa (AFP) — South Africa on Thursday held its first cannabis industry exhibition since the constitutional court ruled private, personal cannabis use was legal, attracting scores of entrepreneurs and consumers.

Although no smoking was allowed at the venue, hundreds of people attended the trade show including producers, manufacturers, brand owners, distilleries and brewers.

“It is an enormous opportunity and I don't think people realise how big it is. If we look at the market, it is enormous when you look at what is happening in America and Canada,” said Steve Carver, 50, a director at U Can Grow Africa, which sublets land for cannabis cultivation.

Another attendee Sifiso Pretorius, who has a licence to cultivate the plant, said the profits derived from cannabis-based products were “unbelievable”.

“It's a huge industry and its mainly export based, dollar-based. The potential is huge,” he said.

The country's top court decriminalised private use and cultivation of the herb in September, although it did not decriminalise the use of the drug in public — nor the offences of supplying or dealing.

From medicinal oils, dog treats, and even pure hemp clothing, attendees were treated to a world of cannabis-derived products from the southern Africa region.

MAKE THIS INDUSTRY VIABLE

Zimbabwean-born fashion business owner Haanes Swan, 25, who sells tailored hemp clothing, praised the cost-effective nature of the plant.

“The fabric is four times stronger than cotton and takes half the amount of water to grow.”

“Eventually, we will grow hemp in Zimbabwe by the end of next year. We will be able to clothe people for almost next to nothing,” Swan said.

For others, the decriminalisation is a chance to cash in on the budding industry in a country where unemployment is stubbornly high.

“I wanted information about growing and cultivating because I want to do that myself. I'm quite happy with what I got because I know where to find seeds and everything else to start,” law student Amogelang Shadi, 24, said.

Dressed in Rastafari colours, director of the privately owned Marijuana Board of South Africa, Rasta Sphesihle Madola told AFP that the Rastafarian community was also working with farmers' and growers' associations to profit from the plant.

“As we are Rasta we are about the economy of cannabis, we know that it makes money in the world. We call on international investors to invest and make this industry viable,” Madola added.

The South African Parliament now has just under 24 months to draft new laws that reflect the decriminalisation court order.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Flirting while in a relationship is disrespectful.
Yes
68%
No
11%
It depends
21%

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT