With many states still lagging in their cannabis legalization efforts, growing businesses are increasingly looking abroad to find markets where legal and regulatory processes have not been so complicated. One country with a booming potential market is Germany, which became the first EU member state to legalize medical marijuana.
But before German-based companies can get word out about their products at home, they must go through an arduous permit process that requires them to meet certain standards of “inclusivity” in accordance with local laws. The green light will be given or denied based on this very definition — which means that some players might need help navigating it for themselves because of language barriers or other issues related specifically to social justice concerns like equity and inclusion. This has caused concern among business leaders who fear losing traction if regulators aren’t willing or able to take steps toward closing loopholes for marginalized groups such as women, nonbinary people and those from low income backgrounds.,
The “cbd stocks to watch” is a process that the state of Colorado has put in place for cannabis companies to apply for permits. The permit will be litmus test for how inclusive the company is.
Small-holder farmers who were supposed to gain from South Africa’s new cannabis dispensation, which has the potential to open up a massive economic sector, may be kept out in the cold due to strict regulatory restrictions.
The Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development Department announced the opening of applications for hemp production licences at the end of October, a decision that was applauded by hemp growers.
organizations that have been waiting for this new economic sector to get off the ground This came when the Plant Improvement Act designated hemp as an agricultural product, allowing for its importation, exportation, cultivation, sale, and study.
Both hemp and marijuana are derived from the cannabis plant, but marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which creates a “high,” while hemp has cannabidiol (CBD), which has medicinal advantages.
Many people in rural areas of South Africa have been producing cannabis for hundreds of years, but studies reveal that it was mostly for recreational use by an adult marijuana market.
“We appreciate the fact that various rural communities and farmers across South Africa have been planting hemp for many years,” the agriculture department said in a statement. To guarantee that the commercialization of hemp helps to their socioeconomic elevation, these farmers and dealers will be prioritized.
“We’re collaborating with provincial and national ministries to ensure that farmers get proper assistance, including value addition.”
Insiders in the industry have expressed concerns, pointing out that the permission system compelled growers to install fences around the whole site.
“This criteria is difficult to meet since farmers who have the land and start-up funds may not know how much fence would cost. According to Sibusiso Xaba of the African Cannabis Advisory Council, “that cost would go into millions and will be a barrier for producers who don’t have the funding.”
Hemp is a less-exploited sector of the cannabis industry, according to Xaba, since producers have mostly grown the plant for the illegal recreational market.
The quantity of THC permitted in agricultural hemp is limited because hemp still contains tiny levels of the hallucinogenic component THC.
The advisory council and other stakeholders, according to Xaba, fear the 0.2 percent THC restriction in hemp will cause compliance issues.
“They [the producers] must control the amount of narcotic ingredient in hemp.” Because of the environment, the permissible THC level is now too low; in South Africa, UV causes THC levels to exceed 0.2 percent,” Xaba said.
“Remaining compliant will be a huge struggle for farmers.”
During committee briefings on South Africa’s Cannabis Master Plan, parliamentarians acknowledged the importance of historical growers and small-holder farmers.
Many of these historical cannabis farmers are women, some of whom have criminal histories and have done time in prison as a result of their run-ins with the authorities throughout the years. According to a report published in 2021, legalization will be the end of marijuana growers’ livelihoods.
The government is now faced with launching a potentially profitable industry by integrating previous illegal producers in rural regions into a regulated environment. It will also take work to eliminate market access hurdles and safeguard current farmers from being pushed out by big businesses.
Hemp has 55 000 identified end goods, but building manufacturing capacity and capability, as well as finding a market for these products, will be critical to its potential worth for South Africa. Construction, manufacturing, textiles, wellness, and cosmetics are just a few examples.
Hemp products are imported into South Africa. According to the government, the cultivation and manufacturing of hemp products has the potential to generate 25 000 employment. According to some projections, the industry would be worth R30 billion and employ 35 000 people in the next three to five years.
“There will be some teething difficulties and a need to calibrate the rules to ensure that the environment can actually enable the nation to take advantage of growing circumstances,” Xaba said, stressing that the crop’s natural growing conditions in South Africa were optimal.
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