South Africa approves country’s first cannabis college

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South Africa is adding its name to the list of countries ready to provide residents with higher education.

The Eastern Cape’s Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform has been given the green light for the creation and development of a cannabis college that will train wannabe weed workers to cultivate and distribute the drug.

The facility is set to break ground in the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality in Lusisiki, thanks to the location’s excellent environmental conditions for growing the crop.

Local authorities hope that the college will provide residents of the struggling province with job opportunities and revitalize the local economy.

“The Eastern Cape is constantly searching for ideas and ways on how to contribute to the growth of domestic product of the province,” Nomakhosazana Meth, MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, told702.

“Lusiski is known to be ‘the world’s capital of cannabis’ and this is a very important industry, so we need to exploit it in our province. We want to make sure we embrace cannabis for medical and commercial purposes.”

Meth says that the project could be in operation by the end of the year now that the government has made peace with a 2018 court decision to legalize the private consumption of cannabis. The government has until September to rectify cannabis legislation with the country’s constitution. The country’s legal cannabis industry could be worth as much as $23 billion by 2023.

Although cannabis must still be acknowledged as a licensed agricultural crop for full-scale development, Meth wants to prepare the province for what she sees as the plant’s inevitable commercialization.

“This is a plant that is green gold. We must be pushing government to say that we are ready,” she explained.

South Africa currently produces approximately 2,300 tonnes of cannabis on an annual basis, making it one of the largest producers on the continent.

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