The government is to regulate the hemp products’ commercial use in an endeavor to offer opportunities to small farmers and lay down the policies on the use of cannabis for medicinal basis.
The news was announced on Thursday by Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of the state. The government’s administration of commercial usage of the hemp products will align the industry with global trends. He said,
The regulatory steps will soon be announced by the relevant ministers.
Hemp, as most people know, is a variant of cannabis that has low drug content and hence can be used for medicinal purposes in industries. Right now, the cultivation of hemp is illicit in SA. It is only approved for the research use in the light of exceptions given under special circumstances by the national health department’s director-general.
As per the data from the Agricultural Research Council, hemp is employed to produce over 25,000 products, which range from clothing, accessories to cosmetics, and housewares. The industrial market for hemp is expected to grow up to $10.6bn globally by 2025, as per the reports of Grand View Research.
Rob Davies, the Ex Trade & industry minister earlier, reported that the government well acknowledges the potential of the commercial implementation of hemp and related products. It will, therefore, analyze the hurdles as well as the opportunities through its roadmap to be a central entity in the arena of the hemp market.
A report released in 2019 indicated that the legal cannabis market of Africa is expected to generate over $ 7.1bn annually by 2023. This would spruce up if some major markets of the continent open up following the global legalization fad that was initiated in the US, followed by Europe and Canada.
Though some countries from Africa have taken measures towards the final legalization, this includes Lesotho, SA, and Zimbabwe. These countries have recently authorized the use of cannabis for medical use, but the recreational practice is illegal.
According to the report by Europe-based market intelligence and strategic consultancy firm, Prohibition Partners, though cannabis is still an illicit entity for most African nations, a number of countries are convinced of its benefits and are eager to endorse the cultivation of the drug. According to the report,
Cannabis is already widely grown and consumed across the continent with production currently standing at around 38,000 tonnes and consumption rates at 13.2%.
As per the UN survey, cannabis amount over 38,000 tonnes is currently cultivated in Africa annually. Although, African governments did not yet legalize the production as countries from Europe and the US.
The report by Prohibition Partners mentions that the path to legalization of the drug is definitely overwhelmed with hurdles and challenges due to strict laws, inconsistent enforcement, etc. But the climate of Africa, the cheap land, and easy labor give enormous hopes in the potential market that is expected to surpass $7.1bn in 2023.