“People feel betrayed”: small-scale dagga growers fear exclusion from legal trade

At present, the only route into South Africa’s legal cannabis trade is by obtaining a South African Health Products Regulatory Authority licence for medical marijuana cultivation
Ground Up (South Africa)
Monday, October 14, 2019

As South Africa looks to enter the booming commercial cannabis market, which could be worth up to R27 billion locally by 2023, the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, has repeatedly reiterated the plant’s economic promise for the Eastern Cape, the country’s poorest province. “We must not be left behind as cannabis is brought into the spotlight and the world jumps to grab their drag on the spliff,” said the department’s MEC Nomakhosazana Meth at a stakeholder event in August. But despite the fanfare, Beecee Nombanga, a Manhlaneni community leader, remained sceptical that small-scale growers would see any benefits from a legal trade that was geared towards “big companies in big towns who have a lot of resources that we simply don’t have”.