Farmers encouraged to apply for cannabis permits

The North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (NWDARD) MEC Desbo Mohono is calling for local farmers and manufacturers to apply for permits to participate in the hemp industry. The applications are open to all interest groups and individuals.

The Hemp Permit process follows the Cabinet decision taken in 2019 to have a plan for industrialisation and commercialisation of cannabis in order to increase economic growth, create jobs and poverty alleviation. This decision was trailed by an establishment of a committee to guide the development of Cannabis Masterplan.

MEC Mohono is encouraging farmers to seize the opportunity and apply for hemp permits in order to reap economic opportunities in the industry. “The legalisation and commercialisation of Cannabis Sativa (Cannabis) has been on the forefront of public debate and on top of the agenda of policymakers globally. As a role player, the NWDARD held a Webinar last year to engage stakeholders in a collaborative effort to advance the Cannabis Masterplan Implementation process. In that Webinar, we learned that only a few farmers had permits and at the time of our engagement, their permits had expired. I know we have very passionate farmers in the province and I urge them to follow the process and to apply for Hemp Permits,” she said.

The Plant Improvement Act, 1976 (Act no 53 of 1976) and its regulations provide a legal framework for cultivation, distribution and sale of hemp propagating material in South Africa. “Any person who wants to engage in hemp in identified activities relating to hemp must be in possession of a Hemp Permit issued by the Registrar of the Plant Improvement Act.”

Application forms can be accessed through the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development website: www.dalrrd.gov.za. Famers in Madibeng can contact the Brits representative of the department on 072 800 0121.