South African Police Crack Down On Illicit Cannabis Industry

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If there is a truism in the world of cannabis, it is that if you give the cannabis industry the slightest crack and it will flow through. That said for all the enthusiasm, there are still laws and regs to be followed.

In South Africa, the SAPS (the South African Police Service) has issued a warning that the entire cannabis industry is essentially under watch, and notably, the establishment of any brick and mortar retail site, online platforms, and social media promotions are all still illegal.

This warning does not apply of course to medicines authorized by the Medicines and Related Substances Act. Further, while growing and consuming cannabis at home in private is now legit, doing so in public with any substance with more than 0.1% of THC is still a crime.

Naturally of course, just as in other places this will be hard to enforce, particularly beyond urban areas. The country has always seen cannabis production, albeit mostly of the illicit kind. Stop an individual in the street with flower, however, in this environment and it could just as easily be CBD.

Stopping the profusion of online media, whether it is deemed “advertising” or not, will also prove tricky in a world where such promotion can be international.

That said, it also appears that the South African government is trying to get a handle not only on domestic production but imports into the country and of the medical and CBD kind. To do so legally, one must possess a valid license.

Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) are also very much in the room, particularly as the country is considering exports to the rest of the world – namely the much-vaunted European medical market.

However, no matter how well planned the transition is supposed to be, it is also clear that South Africans, like just about everyone else, are a bit ahead of the politicians.

Putting the cannabis genie back in its bottle, in other words, is harder than it sounds, and in truth, almost impossible to stop once the ball (as in South Africa’s case too) actually gets rolling, no matter how many police warnings are issued.

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