A $US 7.1 billion industry: Cheeba Academy takes us through the pros and cons of farming cannabis in SA

According to market intelligence and strategic consultancy firm Prohibition Partner, the legal cannabis industry in Africa is predicted to be worth more than $US 7.1 billion annually by 2023 and South Africa’s domestic market for cannabis and related products, excluding non-psychoactive CBD products that are available legally, to be worth R27 billion ($US 2 Billion) by 2023.      

Now, there’s no doubt that the cannabis industry has the potential to carry the African economy on its shoulders.

However, those that would like to venture into cannabis growing are still faced with confusion as far as the law is concerned.

Mr Linda Sito from Cheeba Cannabis Academy addressed issues around growing cannabis, legislation and trading when he spoke at the informative AFASA Youth Gauteng Roadshow that took place at the Diep In Die Berg in Wapadrand Pretoria recently.

Sito said that Cannabis has the potential to have a significant positive impact on South Africa’s economy, facilitating large scale job creation and assisting disadvantaged communities with making a living as well as contributing to an overall improvement of the continent’s health.

He said that legally, farmers can grow cannabis as much as they want but may not trade.

He said that currently growers are being arrested because the law is not yet clear, especially on the side of the police who continue to arrest growers.

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“Currently the law allows growing cannabis for personal use but police would argue that you can’t grow a hectre of cannabis and say its for personal use,” said Sito.

The landmark Constitutional Court judgement in September 2018 decriminalised the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis in private dwellings.

But buying and selling of cannabis, cannabis oil and cannabis seeds remain illegal, posing a challenge for farmers who are currently interested in the business.

Sito said that although South Africa has been growing cannabis forever, “we still can’t beneficiate it locally because no one is allowed to trade legally”.

 “The legality of that is slowly coming into play now because you need a license to trade internationally as an off-taker… but you can’t sell locally as no one is allowed to do that.”

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development recently released its draft cannabis master plan, which aims to turn marijuana into a viable business sector for the country.

The master plan aims for the signing of the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill into law within the 2022/2023 financial year.

Cheeba runs medical cannabis courses in partnership with Medical Marijuana 411 – the global leader in medical cannabis education with operation in the US, Japan, Europe and South America.

“This gives us access to a global education think tank ensuring you get top quality, vetted and up to date content,” said Sito.   

He said their full time course at our Gauteng and Plettenberg Bay campus is endorsed by the University of Limpopo / Edupark and on successful completion of the course you will be awarded with certificate of completion from the university.

“Our medical online courses have been updated to localise content where relevant and students are given lifetime access to their student dashboard to review materials at any time in the future. We provide free access to Cannabis education through our online media channel,” he said.

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