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Another change in cannabis legal framework as new Act is passed

Home Agriculture Another change in cannabis legal framework as new Act is passed

ON his last day in office, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Cannabis for Private Purposes Act (CfPPA) into law. The CfPPA regulates the cultivation, possession, and use of cannabis by adults in a private setting.

The consequent regulatory reform enabled by the CfPPA will, amongst others, entirely remove cannabis from the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act. This will further enable amendment of the Schedules to the Medicines and Related Substances Act and provide for targeted regulatory reform of the Plant Breeders Rights Act and the Plant Improvement Act, as well as other pieces of legislation that require amendment to allow for the industrialisation of the cannabis sector.

The Bill further guides the medically prescribed administration of cannabis to a child while also protecting children from undue exposure to cannabis. It provides for an alternative manner by which to address the issue of the prohibited use, possession of, or dealing in, cannabis by children, with due regard to the best interest of the child. It also prohibits the dealing in cannabis.

According to Grow one Africa, the passing of this law is “certainly a positive step for the industry”. It notes that some of the larger implications that directly affect citizens are the following:

  • Cannabis has been removed from the Drugs and Drugs Trafficking Act meaning that cannabis is no longer deemed an illicit substance. This has far-reaching consequences, including for traditional healers.
  • Cannabis has been included in the National Road Traffic Act. This means that a driver can now officially be arrested for driving under the influence of cannabis.
  • Section S2(1)(b) allows an adult to provide for or obtain cannabis from any other adult person. This can be argued to open the door for private cannabis clubs provided that the cannabis is shared between members and not commercially sold.
  • Grow one Africa says there several further implications that will need to be interpreted by the judiciary for clarification.

Grow one Africa says that the South African Police Service (SAPS) issued directives in the past updating protocols on how to affect cannabis arrests (now with a warrant), and the passing of this Act updates what was purely a judicial right into a court ordered legislative right to smoke, possess and cultivate cannabis.

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