The South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development endured a two-year process to develop a national strategy for the industrialization and commercialization of cannabis.
“Establishment of the cannabis industry will lead to diversification of the economy and thus increase economic growth, create jobs, and for poverty alleviation,” the department said in a presentation to lawmakers.
The expectation is that the plan could create up to 25,000 jobs and help attract foreign investment. It is hoped that with an effective regulatory and legal system the volumes and variety of cannabis produced for local and export markets will increase. The strategy identifies “the threat of takeover or dominance” by well-funded companies and pharmacy groups as the primary challenges to the industry.
The plan hopes to instigate the cultivation of hemp and marijuana that can have applications from medicine and food to recreational use.
South Africa legalized marijuana for personal use in 2018.