Canapax has built a name for itself by openly selling weed across the country. Their popular franchises have managed this under the guise of being traditional healers. But the South African Police Service has issued a statement advising that these businesses are illegally selling cannabis.

This was announced in a joint media statement issued by the South African Police Service and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

“The South African Police Service is issuing a stern warning that the establishment of illegal dispensaries/outlets, online sites and social media platforms which are marketing and selling cannabis and cannabis-related products to the public remains illegal, except where specifically allowed in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act”

The High Co advert

The next bit feels like a reference to Canapax and similar dealers dressed as healers.

“Some of these illegal businesses, purporting to be operating legally in terms of the Traditional Health Practitioners Act (No. 22 of 2007), are also being sold to members of the public as franchises authorised to deal in cannabis and cannabis-related products. In terms of the Traditional Health Practitioners Act, the definition of “traditional medicine” means an object or substance used in traditional health practice for the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of a physical or mental illness or any curative or therapeutic purpose, including the maintenance or restoration of physical or mental health or well-being in human beings but does not include a dependence-producing or dangerous substance or drug”. As a result, the Traditional Health Practitioners Act does not create a mechanism to sell cannabis and cannabisrelated products that are not exempted in terms of the Medicines Act.”

“The public is once again reminded of the effect of the Constitutional Court judgment in Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Others v Prince: National Director of Public Prosecutions and Others v Rubin: National Director of Public Prosecutions and Others v Acton and Others [2018] SACC 30, handed down on 18 September 2018. The effect of the judgment is that only an adult person (18 years and older) may use, possess or cultivate cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption in private. The use, including smoking, of cannabis in public or in the presence of children or in the presence of non-consenting adult persons is not allowed. The use or possession of cannabis in private other than by an adult for his or her personal consumption is also not permitted.”

Dealing in cannabis remains a serious criminal offence in terms of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act”

Read the full media release here.

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What does this all mean though

Canapax franchise owners and investors will have to decide for themselves. While private cannabis clubs also face a similar decision. Face the might of the law? Or continue with business as usual?

It all hardly seems to be a real surprise though. As we’d previously highlighted how on the edge this all was.

UPDATE! Canapax raided by police and founder arrested.

“The Serious Organised Crime Unit of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation with members of Forensic Science Laboratory and Local Criminal Record Centre descended on a hydroponic dagga lab in Brits on Saturday and arrested the owner of a Cannabis dispensary. The suspect who allegedly also sells franchises for cannabis dispensaries is a major supplier of cannabis and related products in the country.

The investigation aims to clamp down on the unlawful mushrooming of Cannabis dispensaries around the country which are purporting to be operating legally in terms of the Traditional Health Practitioners Act (No. 22 of 2007).

A search of the suspect’s store allegedly revealed over 500 kg worth of Cannabis estimated to be approximately R3 million, hydroponic tunnels for cannabis cultivation, various apparatus for processing and oil extraction and other numerous cannabis products, all which were subsequently seized.

The suspect will appear at the Brits Magistrate’s court on 11 November 2019 for contravening the Medicine and Related Substances Act and dealing in Dagga.”

Canapax... Dealers or Healers