South Africa has legalised cannabis use

South Africa’s highest court has legalised private, recreational cannabis use for adults, although selling the drug is still a criminal offence.

The constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday 18 September that South Africans can legally cultivate their own cannabis plants and use it at home, following rulings in “democratic societies based on freedom, equality and human dignity,” around the world that have already relaxed laws around its sale and use.

It follows a string of new policies in the US and Canada which have seen recreational cannabis legalised.

In Canada, lawmakers passed The Cannabis Act passed in June 2018 in a 52-29 vote in the Senate, which regulates how the drug can be grown, distributed, and sold, with laws varying from province to province.

Canada is only the second country in the world to legalise recreational cannabis use nationwide.

Nine states, and Washington DC, have legalised marijuana for recreational use for adults over the age of 21, while medical marijuana is legal in another 30 states.

In 2017, the legal marijuana industry was worth $9.7 billion, according to a report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, representing a 33% increase on the previous year. By 2022, Arcview expects global spending on legal cannabis to hit $32 billion.

The South African court report said that the decision was inspired by “democratic societies based on freedom, equality and human dignity that have either legalised or decriminalised possession of cannabis in small quantities for personal consumption.”

Since the legalisation, a number of drinks firms have eyed up potential moves and investments into the legal market. Constellation Brands announced plans to increase its stake in Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth by an additional US$4 billion. The company acquired its initial stake in October last year for £141 million (US$179m).

Meanwhile beer giant Molson Coors partnered with Canadian cannabis producer The Hydropothecary Corporation, to develop “non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalisation”.

One Response to “South Africa has legalised cannabis use”

  1. Jaco Engelbrecht says:

    HI Edith. Cannabis is still illegal. It is just de-criminalized for personal use. There are no legal boundaries yet and it is up to parliament to draw up all the boundaries and eliminate as much of the possible grey areas as possible. This will take another 2 years

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