South Africa


South Africa's cannabis policy is wildly confusing, despite "dagga" being part of the culture for centuries

The story of dagga in South Africa stretches back centuries, writes Zack Ruskin.


South Africa’s Dagga Couple remind us what’s important about cannabis

Myrtle Clarke and Julian Stobbs’ home was raided by South African police in 2010. They were charged with cannabis possession and distribution and faced some choices: plead guilty, pay bribes, or sue the government. They chose the latter, combining their case with Ras Garreth Prince, a Rastafarian who had been denied access to law school because he was a cannabis user. Defying government opposition, South Africa’s highest court ruled in their favor in September 2018 and decriminalized cannabis use and possession in private spaces.


South Africa poised for cannabis trade despite obstacles

2018 has been called the "year for cannabis" in South Africa. But there are still hurdles before a legal marijuana industry can flourish in an African economic power deemed ideal for large-scale cultivation.

Advocates rejoiced at a Constitutional Court decision in September that upheld the legalization of the adult use and cultivation of pot in private. A cannabis expo in the capital, Pretoria, this month was Africa's first, organizers said. However, buying and selling cannabis for recreational reasons remains illegal, and an onerous licensing process has held up the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana.


Can you get high from second-hand marijuana smoke?

On 18 September 2018 the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the highest court in the country, decriminalised the private use and cultivation of marijuana.

The unanimous court ruling was met with approval and celebration by the South African public.

For all of those not partaking in the "joint" rotation and concerned about the "second-hand high", rest assured that you’ll remain unaffected... kind of.


Africa’s first marijuana expo, without marijuana

Andre Kruger’s stand at Africa’s first ever cannabis exposition displayed an indoor growing tent, complete with state-of-the-art lighting imported from the United States and fittings for a high-tech hydroponic irrigation system.

What it didn’t have, however, was a cannabis plant.

The four-day expo, which opened in South Africa’s capital Pretoria on Thursday, was a stark illustration of the legal grey area the nascent industry occupies in the continent’s most developed economy.

In September, the Constitutional Court decriminalized the use and cultivation of cannabis in private space. But the decision did not legalize its trade or distribution. Even displaying cannabis in public remains legally dubious.


Companies urged to register cannabis trademarks as marijuana takes root

Global companies who plan to diversify or launch their cannabis products have been advised to identify their consumer base, create their brand and file a trademark ahead of the competition. 

"The opportunities to create new brands for cannabis-based products are endless, and so too should the requisite protection of intellectual property protection be in place," said Donvay Wegierski, director at Werksmans Attorneys. 

There’s a growing movement worldwide to legalise the use of cannabis, which has sparked a strong commercial interest from companies selling cannabis-based products.  


Cannabis legalisation delights South African users

A bucket containing a soupy green mixture sits under a table in Nduna Ewrong-Nxumalo's consultation room in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa's economic hub.

The traditional healer, or sangoma, has trusted and prescribed the pungent mixture -- cannabis tea -- to his patients for years. "We were given this holy plant by the ancestors," Ewrong-Nxumalo said, scooping out a cupful.

"Healers who came before us and trained us showed us how to restore people's health with it," said the healer, wearing a leopard-skin vest and khaki trousers. "It is a plant to be respected and protected, and I'm happy the law is finally doing that."


South Africa’s highest court legalizes cannabis for personal use

South Africa is the country to most recently legalize cannabis.  

South Africa’s highest court has legalized using cannabis for adults in private places as well as growing cannabis for private use upon ruling that the previous law that banned cannabis is unconstitutional.

“It will not be a criminal offense for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his own personal consumption,” said Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

The ruling comes after a decision made last year by a provincial court that legalizes cannabis for private use in Western Cape where the country’s capital, Cape Town, is situated.


DTI looking into benefits of cannabis products for SA economy

CAPE TOWN - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says his department has undertaken research to try to better understand the benefits of cannabis products for the South African economy.

Davies says DTI recognises the potential value to be derived from commercial value chains of cannabis and related products like oil and hemp.

The research seeks to understand, from an industrial policy perspective, the obstacles and opportunities for South Africa to become an active and innovative player in this growing market.


A trot around the globe to see where and how marijuana is allowed

First and second countries to legalize marijuana

Canada has just legalized the recreational use of marijuana. It is the second country to legalize the plant’s recreational use.The Cannabis Act was passed on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 in a 52-29 vote in the Senate. The bill controls and regulates how the herb can be grown, distributed and sold. Canadians will be able to buy and consume cannabis legally from September. Adults over the age of 18 will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams.


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