South Africa

KZN wants to be leading exporter of cannabis, govt reveals

DURBAN - Economic development authorities in KwaZulu-Natal are calling on emerging entrepreneurs to consider growing cannabis.

Officials said supporting production of cannabis forms part of the province’s post COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

While the global cannabis industry is estimated to be worth more than R100 billion, the province’s Economic Development Department said it wanted to position the area as a leading exporter of the plant.

The provincial Economic Development Department said the Moses Kotane Institute is available to assist emerging farmers who want licences for farming cannabis.

Spokesperson Ndabezinhle Sibiya said: “It will cost around R23,000 for a farming licence. There are other issues like secure and fenced land, a funnel system, adequate lighting and the Department of Health has to approve it.”

Sibiya said the provincial government wants to empower rural areas, who have a long history of growing and consuming cannabis, even though they have been doing it illegally.

Sibiya said they hoped that the regulation of the cannabis industry would be fast-tracked by the country’s lawmakers.

This against the backdrop of a 2019 report by prohibition partners which estimates that the country’s cannabis industry will be worth over R26 billion by 2023.

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