The dagga status updated by SAHPRA we've been waiting for!
Recap: The 23rd May 2019 found SAHPRA rescheduling CBD from 7 to 4 (when making therapeutic claims on packaging) and schedule 0 if no claims allowing for over the counter sales, this was a massive win for the cannabis community! South Africa's CBD market was born with most entrepreneurs selling internationally sourced CBD. This declaration was met with a 12 month sunset clause and much like an estranged cousin who didn’t respond to family group WhatsApp’s all year, we finally heard from SAHPRA and they’ve released some industry curtailing regulations - let's jump in shall we?
23rd May 2020 came around and similar to the 2019 amendment, CBD will only be sold at a maximum supply of 20MG per day, or 600MG per month. Please note this this also only allows the sale of CBD ISOLATE - not broad or full spectrum which a large portion of the current CBD market has chosen to overlook. Don’t get me wrong, full spectrum is definitely the bee's knees, but let’s not dodge the law folks, rather lobby to change it.
Business Day reports that cannabis seed still schedule 7, I stand corrected but my interpretation is that the cannabis plant in its totality has been removed from schedule 7. The "[ ... ]" indicated removal - see Gazette below:
Cannabis in its totality has been removed from Schedule 7! Thats big news! We now see THC regulated as a schedule 6 substance where it can be legally present in 3 circumstances
1) Intended for industrial purposes (not human/animal ingestion) with less than 0.2% THC [why so low?!]
2) products made with less than 0.001& or less of THC [this is for your hemp and cannabis products like clothing, rope, Hempcrete etc]
3) Cannabis grown, possessed and consumed by an adult in private for personal consumption. [This does not have a limit on the THC presence - thanks to the 18th Sept '18 Con Court judgement we are here, and this allowance of private use is the seed of this journey]
Our government finally recognises the difference between HEMP and Dagga with regards to the industrial application and low-THC. This is a big step in the right direction - we might finally see the Dept of Agriculture actually preside over a domain that should NOT be managed by Dept of Health…do they decide on the growing conditions of cotton or wine? No. So why then hemp crops? This move over to Agriculture has been welcomed!
Given this rescheduling we can see many more domains of the industry open up. We can research now that this is no longer deemed schedule 7 as 'no benefit to society' or even 'harmful'. For the sharp thinkers, apply your mind and open that plant nursery or research into commercial viability of acute cannabis crops that suit your asset pull.
Not to shed more bad light on SAHPRA but we can finally see proper SOPs followed before the granting of any (research or commercial) licences. We've seen up to 50 research and commercial licences granted so far to grow cannabis in SA, as far as I know (Western Cape research permits) licences were granted without any site inspections, how? Dept of Agri can allow for the next era: One where the cannabis trade is not limited to those with import licences and deep capital, but one that opens the door for small scale subsistence or craft growers will be able to benefit off this multi billion rand industry.
This rescheduling for SAHPRA is a great step forward but FAR from what we still need! Yes it allows for the private access to the plant and more clarity, but that's all. While this is all they are required to do in terms of the Con Court judgement, this is not enough. We need to see the realisation of the commercial benefits of this plant now! Coming out of this idiotic lockdown, let this plant grow us to new heights in the name of our Creator!