How to legally get a cannabis license in South Africa and other useful information for those entering the green revolution. The booming interest in legal and not so legal cannabis products has created a local rush of both producers and consumers.
Following the Constitutional Court ruling that cannabis be decriminalized, have come the calls for government to create a system that can legally permit and regulate what is currently a very grey area. There however seems to be a bit of a bump in the road. The vast multitude of cannabis’ uses means that there are potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of products that would need to comply with a very long list of rules. Existing Regulatory Practices and regulations now pose an administrative conundrum.
Cannabis licenses in South Africa are therefore slowly becoming a reality. But these are evasive to obtain.
Personal Cannabis License
You do not need a license to grow and use your own Cannabis as it was decriminalized for private adult use in 2018. Any form of trade in the plant however remains strictly illegal. Learn how to legally grow cannabis in South Africa here.
Cannabis Club License
Industrious companies are using a loophole to trade by self regulating. Private Cannabis Clubs are establishing as formal businesses and voluntarily pay all applicable taxes, etc. These clubs and franchises are targeted towards recreational and medical’ish users. They do however carry some risk. As the local police or neighbors may target indiscreet Cannabis Clubs.
Cannabis Grow License
Getting a Cannabis Grow License is not easy. You will need millions of rand in the bank and few more million worth of grow facility. These licenses are only for research, but some of the products may well be already finding their way to foreign legal markets. There are many organizations that offer assistance in this process. Be prepared for heavy paperwork and costs for what could only be a research permit. That does not allow you to actually sell or process your cannabis. You can try the Cannabis Development Council of South Africa or similar organizations. Be careful of scams and pyramid schemes that prey on naive investors.
Medical Cannabis License
How to get a medical cannabis license in South Africa is practically impossible. There are rumours of only a handful existing. While the process only caters for rare cases that can rely on the one dimensional aspect of isolate and synthetic cannabis pharmaceuticals. Many genuine medical users therefore have neither the time nor the motivation to deal with the bureaucracy. This is before even considering the significant personal and financial costs involved.
Those who would like to grow “medical cannabis” need to ask themselves one question. Do I have the means and 5+ years to invest in producing legal pharmaceutical drugs? Because that’s what it will take to even begin. This is well before you are even able to produce something that can compete with existing over the counter pharmaceuticals. You can contact the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to find out more.
Traditional Cannabis License
Various traditional healer and cultural associations have frequently taken to the streets and courts. Seeking inclusion in the current informal and pending formal cannabis markets. Traditional and informal growers potentially have the most to lose, as a legal system may have too many barriers to entry. A sudden burst of online traditional healers and physical retail franchises are an interesting development.
You will need your wits and sense to become a legitimate license holder. Or not. So decide what exactly you would like to produce or consume cannabis for. Then go with your gut.