With Africa being one of the largest producers of cannabis globally, there is a window of opportunity for African countries to export products to the rest of the world. However, exporting cannabis is a complex and highly regulated process, and farmers need to be well-informed and compliant with the laws and regulations in both their home and destination country.
In this episode of Farmer’s Inside Track, Shaad Vayej, CEO of Onlyfarms and attorney at Cullinan & Associates, shares some key things that farmers should know about exporting cannabis.
SA poised to be a global leader
According to Vayej, South Africa is poised to be one of the global leaders in cannabis cultivation for export. He talks about opportunities in especially medical cannabis, industrial cannabis and recreational cannabis.
When it comes to legalities and what farmers should know, Vayej says, “It’s still illegal to buy and sell cannabis but subject to certain exceptions. The first [exception] is the Medicines Act which in short allows the South Africa Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to issue permits for cultivation, import, export, testing, packaging, transport and distribution of medical cannabis.”
The second side to it is hemp regulated under the Plant Improvement Act and the frameworks under it. The medical side is very expensive to get into.
“You need to have a cannabis cultivation facility set out that needs to be capable of being audited by SAHPRA Sopra, as well as an off-take agreement to ensure that the cannabis that has is grown, has a destination and it doesn’t end up deviating onto the black market, which would be a severe criminal offence,” he explains.
Catching up with a #SoilSista
This week’s episode also features #SoilSista Kgotella Roda. After the loss of her father in 2021, she faced numerous challenges. Now Kgotella, shares her journey of empowerment, resilience, and learning, as she continues her father’s legacy with grace.
In this episode, Vayej also discusses:
- Legalities around cannabis;
- What you need to enter the medical cannabis market;
- Differences in license costs and more.
Want to know more? Listen to the full episode of Farmer’s Inside Track.
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