SA cannabis growers may require licence and permit

Due to cannabis being categorised as a narcotic drug, it has been proposed that prospective cannabis growers will have to obtain a licence from the Medicines Control Council (MCC) as well as a permit from the Department of Health. This is according to MCC registrar, Joey Gouws.

SA cannabis growers may require licence and permit

The MCC recently published draft guidelines for the cultivation and processing of cannabis for medical use.

According to guidelines, there is no limit to the number of licences that the council will issue for the production of cannabis for medical purposes, but the overall quantity grown in South Africa cannot exceed the quota set by the International Narcotics Control Board.

A person with a licence to grow cannabis for hemp production will not be permitted to cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes on the same site, in order to prevent cross-pollination.

“The framework was developed in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). Good agricultural practices must be applied in the cultivation of cannabis, as determined by the DAFF for food-producing plants intended for human consumption,” Gouws said.

Strict guidelines are laid down for cultivation; these focus on soil, fertiliser application, irrigation, herbicides and pesticides. The legislation also states that good harvesting practices with appropriate procedures, as determined by DAFF, must be followed to ensure product quality.

Interested parties have until March 31 to comment.

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