The possession and cultivation of cannabis for private use is expected to be passed into law in two years’ time, according to what a Moneyweb report terms a ‘master plan’.

It says the legalisation of the private and commercial use of cannabis forms part of the country’s plan to revive the ailing economy.

Decriminalising cannabis has previously been touted by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni as one of the ways to plug the hole in dwindling tax revenues. The draft cannabis ‘master plan’, foresees the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill (currently before the National Assembly) to become law by 2023.

The Bill gives effect to the Constitutional Court 2018 ruling that adults may use, cultivate and possess cannabis in private for their consumption and any prohibition of cannabis for private use limits the rights to individual privacy.

However, the buying and selling of cannabis, cannabis oil, and cannabis seeds remain illegal.

Moneyweb says the ‘master plan’ sets out various deadlines for the gradual implementation of the legal use of cannabis, including the legislative, agricultural and commercial requirements.

By 2023, the country ought to have declared hemp as an agricultural crop, made amendments to the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act, and developed a new policy and legislation for the commercialisation of cannabis.

This will be overseen by an executive oversight committee (comprising manufacturers, farmer associations and various government departments, including Trade, Industry & Competition, Justice & Correctional Services and Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development), task teams and provincial cannabis committees.

Full Moneyweb report