Story by Jehran Naidoo
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KwaZulu-Natal Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Agriculture and Rural Development, Super Zuma, said that 644 hemp and cannabis farmers in KwaZulu-Natal will receive a permit to grow later this month.
Zuma was responding to IOL regarding some of the tactics they plan on using in legalising the cannabis industry to allow rural communities to benefit from mass cultivation.
Zuma, together with MEC for Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs, Siboniso Duma, are championing the movement towards a green local economy.
A total of “644 hemp and cannabis farmers who are on the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s database will be receiving their permits on October 29.
“We have the analytical lab, which plays a critical role in the determination of the quality of products from farmers; our people will benefit from this facility, as we stated in our joint statement issued on Friday,” Zuma said.
The Department of Agriculture has a lab located in the Msunduzi Municipality that is dedicated to the research and development of best farming practices and also educates farmers on standards and practices.
For cannabis to be considered “medical”, it needs to be of a certain quality in terms of tetrahydrocannabinol, or ‘THC’ strength.
THC is the psychoactive agent in cannabis that delivers the euphoric effect.
MEC Duma said the province was going to utilise its many export gateways to facilitate the trade of cannabis and hemp products to help empower residents in the trade.
“These agencies will be available to assist ordinary members of society. We also have government departments and other entities that will explain how the legalisation of medicinal cannabis will benefit ordinary members of society.
“Our target remains ordinary members of society. We don't want them to be left behind,” Duma said.