During last week’s State of the Nation address the President stated that 130 000 jobs would be created in the hemp sector
Edward Tsumele, Cannabis Business Africa editor
And as per promise by government, the process for applying for hemp licenses opened lat last year in November and entrepreneurs who would like to get involved in the hemp part of the lucrative and growing industry can now apply for such licenses.
This indeed was sweet news for the local cannabis industry who have been waiting for this opportunity for quite a long time.
However last week, there was even sweeter news from the highest office in South Africa, when President Cyril Ramaphosa not only acknowledged the role that the cannabis industry in general and industrial hemp production in particular culd play in creating jobs, but that plans are afoot to fast track legal reforms to create conditions suitable to entrepreneurs in the industry. This reaffirmation of fast tracked legal reforms are especially important for th sector because right now the biggest impediment to entry into the industry by investors, both local and international is the limiting regulatory regime around cannabis.
And as per President’s speech, this sticking issue if dealt with, it will go a long way in opening up investment into the sector as seen in other countries, neighbouring Lesotho being a good example of that.
“The hemp and cannabis sector has the potential to create more than 130 000 new jobs. We are therefore streamlining the regulatory processes so that the hemp and cannabis sector can thrive like it is in other countries such as Lesotho.
Our people in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and elsewhere are ready to farm with this age-old commodity and bring it to market in new and innovative forms,” Ramaphosa said during the Sate of the Nation address last week Thursday in the Cape Town City Hall, which operated as a make-shift Parliament after the Parliamentary building was gutted in a mystery fire. One person has been arrested in connection with that suspected arson and is currently appearing in court.
This promise by the President will definitely give a boost to confidence in the hemp and cannabis sector that government is serious about implement legal reforms as soon as possible in order to create a conducive environment for investment in the sector.