The Eastern Cape has a long history of (illicit) Cannabis cultivation with established knowledgeable farmers and land race genetics that are naturalized, drought tolerant and well placed to form the backbone of a new industrial and medical cannabis industry.
The people from the Eastern part of the province, with Lusikisiki, Libode, Port Saint Johns and Ntabankulu receiving the high levels of popularity, have been growing Cannabis plant as an agri-cash crop for centuries. The crop has been used for a variety of applications such as medicine, spirituality to connect with the ancestral spiritual world, purification, feeding the body with the natural cannabinoid, meditation and recreational use. This scientific knowledge has been passed from one generation to another.
As the “2020 Cannabis Bill for Private Purposes” is opened for public comment, MEC Meth saw it necessary to provide platform for the people of the Eastern Cape who have always been at the forefront in the activities of this wonder plant. The people of the province have been approaching the Cannabis activities with scientific knowledge, including organically growing Cannabis, protecting gene purity of landraces, optimisation of planting technique to produce a world-renowned and much sort-after high-quality product.
For this, these people carried the brunt of being persecuted by authorities for cultivating one of the global wonder crops.
They suffered incarceration, aerial spraying of their fields by the poisonous glyphosate herbicide, burning of their fields, etc. But they soldiered on to protect this African heritage. They also fell prey to an unscrupulous middleman who snitched on them, underpaid them on their product and robbed them of their valuable product.
The Eastern Cape government’s approach to the Cannabis industry as it is unfolding is premised and founded on the basis that Cannabis is heritage, culture and provides commercial agricultural opportunity for the people who have been bearing the blunt in the raids first and the people of Eastern Cape generally.
The stakeholder engagement for the “2020 Cannabis Bill for Private Purposes” will be held as follows:
Date : 19 November 2020
Time : 10h00, sharp
Venue : Cozy Pozy
Date : 24 November 2020
Time : 10h00, sharp
Venue : Mayfair Hotel
Date : 26 November 2020
Time : 10h00
Venue : Radison Blu Hotel
These stakeholder sessions follow a provincial session held on Tuesday, 17 November 2020 in the East London ICC, joined by Members of the Provincial Council. In this session, MEC Meth also introduced the Technical Advisory Team housed in the ECRDA to mainly guide the department on Cannabis development. The three-member team is comprised as:
- Gallow of Labat Healthcare who received the first medical cultivation license in the province;
- Nicholas Heinamann from the Afristar Cannabis Lobby Group and
- Prince Leslie Sigcau of the Pondoland Cannabis Corporation.
All people in attendance will be expected to wear masks and all other COVID-19 regulations will be applied, including limit on a number of people in the venues. People are also encouraged to join the engagements through Microsoft Teams with the link provided from the body of the email.
Issued by the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform. For further clarity, please contact Ayongezwa Lungisa on 0733457229