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Cannabis industry high on news of commercialisation, regulation by govt

In his Sona, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced government is to open and regulate the commercial use of hemp products and build the industry in line with global trends.

FILE: The 'Taste of Cannabis' exhibit at the Cape Town Cannabis Expo sold chocolates which were fashioned after marijuana plants. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – The local cannabis industry on Friday said President Cyril Ramaphosa's move to take the industry to new heights was long overdue.

During his state of the nation address on Thursday night, Ramaphosa announced government is to open and regulate the commercial use of hemp products and build the industry in line with global trends.

AfriPlex opened the First Cannabis Testing Laboratory last year.

The company's Danie Nel said: “It’s long overdue. It’s the ideal opportunity for small farmers to participate in the value chain. The hemp industry has a lot to be developed. It’s not on the cultivation side that you have to put in place, like in the processing and the conversion of the fibres into fibre products.”

Marijuana activist Myrtle Clarke said she was elated that cannabis was finally being legitimised.

“We were very excited to hear two words, ‘commercialisation’ and ‘small farms’ in the same sentence. So, we need the arrests to stop, the police to stop acting with impunity and going into people’s houses even after the privacy judgment.”

WATCH: What you need to know about President Ramaphosa's Sona 2020