Cannabis cul­ti­va­tion gets the royal nod in Kwazulu-na­tal

Mail & Guardian - - News - Paddy Harper

King Good­will Zwelithini is gear­ing up to join South Africa’s “green rev­o­lu­tion”, with plans al­ready un­der way to grow cannabis for medic­i­nal pur­poses on land in Kwazulu-na­tal un­der his con­trol.

Go Life In­ter­na­tional, a listed com­pany that man­u­fac­tures health sup­ple­ments, has been in talks with the In­gonyama Trust Board since last year to grow cannabis on a 75-hectare stretch of trust land on the North Coast.

The trust has ap­proached con­sul­tants in the cannabis in­dus­try with a view to them train­ing peo­ple liv­ing in the area to grow and process cannabis for the medic­i­nal and re­cre­ational mar­kets.

Last month Zwelithini told the open­ing of the Kwazulu-na­tal provin­cial leg­is­la­ture that the time had come for peo­ple in the prov­ince’s ru­ral ar­eas to start in­ves­ti­gat­ing grow­ing and pro­cess­ing cannabis for medic­i­nal prod­ucts. He called on govern­ment and the farm­ing com­mu­nity to recog­nise the eco­nomic po­ten­tial of cannabis now that its per­sonal use had been de­crim­i­nalised, and to take a “very close look” at the in­dus­try as a means of fight­ing un­em­ploy­ment and poverty in the prov­ince.

Ahmed Ja­malood­een, trea­surer of the Cannabis De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil of South Africa, said that all mea­sures to place cannabis within the main­stream of the econ­omy should be en­cour­aged. “Cannabis is a new kid on the block, but as we move for­ward there will be more and more de­vel­op­ments. What about cannabis bank­ing; cannabis crop in­surance; med­i­cal aid for em­ploy­ees in the cannabis in­dus­try?” he said.

Krithi Thaver, founder of Canna Cul­ture and Holis­tic Re­leaf, South Africa’s first le­gal cannabis dis­pen­sary, said he had been ap­proached by the In­gonyama Trust. “There was an ini­tial dis­cus­sion around the idea of set­ting up train­ing camps for com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing on land ad­min­is­tered by the trust in both the cul­ti­va­tion and pro­cess­ing of cannabis ... we are open to any ini­tia­tive which will as­sist in em­pow­er­ing or­di­nary peo­ple to en­ter the in­dus­try.”

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