The popularity of cannabis-infused or -based products has risen in South Africa, but what exactly are the laws regarding these products?
Speaking to BusinessTech, Ferosa-Fae Hassan, who is a legal associate of law firm ENSAfrica, said the market is currently flooded by cannabis beverages, creams, oils, soaps, and the like along with exhibitions on the benefits of using cannabidiol (CBD) oils.
“This new boost in cannabis products follows the September 2018 Constitutional Court judgement which held that certain provisions of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines and Related Substances Act are unconstitutional based on one’s right to privacy,” said Hassan. “The results of this judgement being that the use, possession or cultivation of cannabis in private for personal consumption was decriminalised.”
The court, however, stressed that only the private use of cannabis is permitted.
“While it is marijuana that is commonly associated with the word cannabis, the starting point is to understand that there are variants and derivatives of cannabis,” said Hassan. “These variants and derivatives contain different levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the component in cannabis responsible for that cloud nine feeling.”
While the selling of THC and marijuana products is still illegal in South Africa, products containing CBD and hemp are legally available for sale.
Products containing CBD must comply with the standards published by the Minister of Health on May 23, 2019 and these include:
– It must contain a maximum daily dose of 20mg CBD with an accepted low risk claim relating to:
– General health enhancement without any reference to specific diseases
– Health maintenance
– Relief of minor symptoms
”The cannabis products we see available in stores therefore contain CBD or hemp, and should comply with the standards set by the minister of health,” said Hassan. ”Due to the low levels of THC in these products, they are unlikely to affect your mental faculties.”
”We are confident that as public policy in South Africa continues to evolve, and given the huge market potential associated with the cannabis industry, South Africa will make strides in this regard,” she added. ”It is anticipated that in the near future more legislation and guidelines will be passed, weeding out the old laws. This will ensure adherence to legal standards and the general regulation of the cannabis industry.”