The global market for cannabis and hemp is booming, and African nations play a vital role in the supply chain. The African cannabis report estimates that by 2026, sales of cannabis and cannabis-related products will equal $102 billion worldwide.
Although South Africa is still in the early stages of overcoming the various legal, political, and social challenges necessary to become a significant player in the industry, the country is a promising contender due to its favorable climate, laxening laws, viable farming land, and prior experience in agriculture and hemp production.
Because countries all over the world are starting to legalize its usage for ailments including alzheimers and chronic pain, the medicinal cannabis business is especially promising.
Germany recently overtook other European nations as the continents most developed and largest market for its use in treating medical issues. Due to the fact that South African producers frequently have to adhere to stringent regulatory standards imposed by foreign governments, these nations have started turning to them for medical cannabis products.
Although the South African health products regulatory authority has already granted 76 licenses for cultivating medicinal cannabis. Cannabis in Lesotho is leading the trend in the region. And this is just the start.
South Africa is a great place for research into medicinal cannabis because there is a significant pharmaceutical and medical research presence there.
Recognizing the potential for investment, president Cyril Ramaphosa outlined plans for the expansion of the hemp and cannabis industries in his 2022 state of the nation speech.
The legal hemp and cannabis industries have the potential to generate more than 130 000 new employment in South Africa, according to Ramaphosa.
The South African cannabis market was expected to be worth r87.7 million in 2021. This amount is anticipated to increase at a predicted annual growth rate of 28.4% to r406.3 million by 2026.
However, getting a joint rolling doesn’t just require a nod from the president; individuals who are interested in the cannabis market also need to make sure they are operating in compliance with the law.
Cannabis is regulated differently across the world, but South Africa has lately been discovered to be on the laxer end of the legal spectrum.
Early in 2022, significant progress was made when revisions to the cannabis for private purposes bill were introduced in parliament. These changes will permit the commercial selling of cannabis, which was previously exclusively permitted for personal, private use.
One article states that the subsequent law would regulate the recreational market under a licensing framework that would provide for several sorts of licenses for cannabis cultivation, sale, and processing.
This is significant for both commercial growers and those who have previously worked in South Africas cannabis business in rural areas.
Local governments are also embracing the cannabis industry; Kwazulu-Natal recently declared its intention to set up a committee to monitor the growth of the sector in the province.
This follows Ramaphosas declaration that the province would spearhead the development of the cannabis sector. This group will be in charge of the industry’s surveillance, legal compliance, and technological advancement.
South Africa is the perfect place to grow cannabis because of its high elevation, enough sunlight, and land that is appropriate for hemp but unsuitable for food crops.