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High time that we unlock the potential of hemp and cannabis to create jobs<p>Worldwide legal cannabis spending will exceed $40 billion by 2024, according to BDS Analytics. This industry has massive potential for growth and the City of Cape Town will explore all avenues to ensure that our residents benefit from this potential.</p><p>President Cyril Ramaphosa recognised this in his State of the Nation Address and said “This year, we will open up and regulate the commercial use of hemp products, providing opportunities for small-scale farmers; and formulate policy on the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes…” </p><p>The City of Cape Town has already attracted significant investor interest based not only on its strength in agriculture, but also because Cape Town is fast becoming Africa’s leader in pharmaceutical research and development, and biotech. Wesgro, one the City’s Special Business Partners, has been conducting research to seek out investment in this key high-growth sector.</p><p>Through the Property Management Department, the City prioritises smart land transactions to unlock socio-economic growth and development. The City Council has already released several parcels of land in Atlantis for purchase by the private sector for the production of medical cannabis. </p><p>This set the foundation to unlock Cape Town’s potential in this untapped sector. We have identified Foreign investment interest and the possibility it bringing in significant income, jobs, and skills.   </p><p>It is also testament to the City’s commitment to partner with the private sector to explore new opportunities to grow the economy, attract investment and create much needed employment.</p><p>Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp both derive from the species Cannabis sativa, they are different strains with distinctive compositions and uses. </p><p>Medicinal cannabis refers to legal, high quality and standardised products made from crude or raw cannabis and is produced under very specific and regulated conditions. </p><p>Hemp is used to make a variety of commercial and industrial products, including rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation and biofuel</p><p>A framework for the legalisation of hemp in South Africa is under development. Currently raw hemp materials and products can be imported under specific conditions, but hemp cultivation is still forbidden. </p><p>My intention is to write to the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, and the Medicines Control Council to request an update on the progress made to allow for the farming of hemp. </p><p>I will also write to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, as the body that adjudicates applications for medicinal cannabis, to ask for an update on the registration of medicinal cannabis in terms of the provisions of Section 22C(1)(b) of the Medicines Act to :</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Cultivate/grow and produce cannabis and cannabis resin</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Extract and test cannabis, cannabis resin and/or cannabinoids</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Manufacture a Cannabis-containing or cannabinoid-containing medicine</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Import a cannabis-containing medicine</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Export a cannabis-containing medicine</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Distribute a cannabis-containing medicine </div></li></ul><p>Together with the department of Enterprise and Investment, I am focussed on making my portfolio the ‘growth directorate’ of the City.</p><p>We are constantly on the lookout for ways to attract investment that create jobs and lead to economic growth. This industry is a perfect example of an opportunity ripe for the picking. </p><p>The City will be on the forefront of creating the right environment for residents to benefit from this emerging sector. </p><p><br><strong>End</strong><br></p>2020-02-15T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#c077b4c6-0b3c-49f0-9892-a438ed954fa3;L0|#0c077b4c6-0b3c-49f0-9892-a438ed954fa3|Economy;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#67872b7f-edad-4031-88c1-6c8cadad8878;L0|#067872b7f-edad-4031-88c1-6c8cadad8878|pharmaceutical waste;GP0|#377804c6-9c66-48b2-b50c-b2582824f5a2;L0|#0377804c6-9c66-48b2-b50c-b2582824f5a2|Drugs1

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