When it comes to marijuana, South Africa has some of the most relaxed laws in the world. Numerous South Africans across the country praised the decision of the Constitutional Court to decriminalize the private use of cannabis. South Africa is one of the largest weed producers in the world and exporters. It is also home to Durban, a well-known landrace cannabis strain. So, if you are traveling to the country or live there and want to buy cannabis seeds in South Africa, this is your best shot!
When you want to purchase cannabis seeds, you look up here and there for the laws related to marijuana in the country. Our expert team has gathered everything you need to know to save your time and money!
You will find the information about the history of cannabis, ongoing marijuana laws, and cannabis culture in the country in the following article.
So, hang on and enjoy the ride!
Marijuana in the History of South Africa
- 1 Marijuana in the History of South Africa
- 2 Marijuana Laws in South Africa
- 3 Medicinal Marijuana in South Africa
- 4 Buying and Selling Cannabis in South Africa
- 5 Top 6 South African Cannabis Strains
- 6 Marijuana World in South Africa
People believe that the Arab, Indian, and Portuguese traders initially brought cannabis to East Africa nearly around the 900s to the 1400s. It spread southwards into South Africa, mainly because of the indigenous ancestral individuals living there at that point, especially Bantu tribes like the Swahili.
In these ancestral communities, the elders moderated and restricted access to cannabis. People used it in customs in a highly structured way. Afrikaners used it to make tea.
Later, in the 1600s, The Dutch East India Company needed to dominate the rewarding cannabis market and forbade Cape settlers to cultivate it. This was unsuccessful, as the plant was available in the jungle. As a result, the authorities lifted the boycott in 1700.
In 1860, the Natal Colony brought Indian workers. These Indian workers brought their habit of consuming weed, which blended well with existing African practice.
European authorities were concerned by this and restricted it in 1870. At this point, cannabis was being referred to as the ‘noxious weed.’
Negative attitudes to cannabis had set in completely by 1921. The higher authorities criminalized it entirely in 1928, and the law remained this way until 2018.
What is Dagga in South Africa?
“Dagga” is the Afrikaans expression for cannabis. Leader of the Dagga Party, Jeremy Acton, states that just like in America, the word ‘marijuana’ was a regional, everyday name used by Mexican people who oppressors took on in order to hide what the plant really was – everyone didn’t realize that marijuana was cannabis. South African oppressors used the same strategy.
In South Africa, the word ‘ga’ in Afrikaans is a declaration of disgust. ‘Dagga’ turned into a very disgusting passionate word for everybody.
The press adored it; the police cherished it. But now they’re taking that word back for their own purposes. Whenever others report on them, they must say ‘dagga’.”
Marijuana Laws in South Africa
Before 2018, cannabis or ‘dagga’ was listed as a Schedule 1 opiate in South Africa. This implied it was illegal to possess it, even for personal use. When the police find individuals with small quantities, they usually issued a fine or even just a warning.
The rules regarding cannabis in South Africa are slightly contradictory. In 2018, South Africa decriminalized the usage, possession, and cultivation of marijuana. At that point, this made it one of the most permissive countries in the world when it comes to marijuana.
The new rules didn’t go so far as to open South Africa to weed tourism like the legalization in Canada and selected regions of the United States. It is, however, likely to enjoy cannabis while traveling through South Africa.
The Cannabis for Private Purpose Bill
A draft law that lays out legal dagga possession information in South Africa has now been published before its submission to the parliament.
The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill is a successor to what people used to call the Regulation of Cannabis Bill when it flowed among some interested parties during 2019.
The new draft, presently approved by the cabinet, has seen no significant structural modifications but sets different limitations on what will be considered too much dagga to qualify for personal usage.
Marijuana is defined as anything containing the psychoactive THC, and so would include vaping of dagga-inferred liquids.
The draft bill sets outs’ prescribed quantities’ for both personal usage and growing purposes.
For personal use, the limitations include:
- Unlimited weed seeds and seedlings
- Four flowering plants for those living single, or eight for residents with two adults or more
- 600 grams of dried cannabis if you reside alone, or 1.2 kilograms in houses with two or more adults
- 1.2 kilograms dried cannabis or cannabis equal per house, which is involved by two or more grown-up persons.
The bill also permits for the possession of marijuana “in private.” For public places, the limit is up to 100 grams.
The draft bill defines ‘in private’ as to keep, store, transport, or be in control of cannabis or a cannabis plant, respectively, in a way that conceals it from general visibility.
The Quantity Allowed to Carry in Public Places
A grown-up person can possess 100g of dry dagga or one flowering plant in a public space for personal use.
The draft also states that a grown-up person may, without the exchange of compensation, provide to, or obtain from, another grown-up person, for private use, the prescribed quantity of cannabis plant cultivation material, the cannabis plant, or cannabis.
As defined by the bill, a public place means wherever to which the general population has access as of right.
Offenses and Penalties
The bill deals with personal use by a grown-up person and proposes the maximum prison term of 15 years for any individual who trades in dagga or provides it to a youngster — someone under 18.
Smoking dagga openly, too close to a window, or in the immediate presence of any non-consenting grown-up person could prompt a prison sentence of as long as two years. Anybody smoking around kids can get as long as four years in prison.
The draft law defined marijuana as anything that contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), including edibles, oils, and vaping fluid.
Medicinal Marijuana in South Africa
The government approved cannabis for medical purposes in 2017. Narend Singh, an IFP official from parliament who worked on the new law proposal, commented that thousands of patients are now using cannabis oil, which comes at a premium price. The authorities should make these products easily available so that the patient going to Addington or some other state hospital can request this without the exorbitant costs associated. Patients must have freedom of choice.
The government issued a statement saying:
“Licensed domestic cultivation of medicinal cannabis will be aimed at ensuring the supply of a standardized, quality-assured product for medical, scientific, and clinical research purposes.”
Moreover, it also featured that “Cannabis grown or cultivated for medicinal purposes, as well as any resulting products prepared from the plant material, will remain subject to stringent security and quality control measures.”
The divisions of Health and Agriculture and the South African Police Service are working together to look at the business suitability growing of hemp in South Africa.
Buying and Selling Cannabis in South Africa
According to the new law, for purposes of exchange between individuals – as long as there is absolutely no compensation involved – limits are set to the following:
- 30 cannabis seeds or seedlings, or a mixture of the two
- one flowering plant
- One hundred grams of dry cannabis
The draft law sets up an equivalency system. In this system two immature cannabis plants equivalent one flowering plant, and five grams of fresh marijuana is equal to one gram of dried product.
That means people will have the option to exchange up to a large portion of a kilogram of fresh dagga out in the open or gift each other two blooming plants.
The sale and purchase of marijuana are still illegal in South Africa. If the police find any resident or visitor taking part in these activities have to face harsh punishments.
South Africa has been in need of a reliable supplier of seeds, grow lights and more for a long time. Marijuana SA has been providing retail services in the cannabis industry in South Africa for many years.
It seems that those interested in making the most of the new law should grow their own plants and wait for the plant to grow before smoking or find someone to borrow the seeds.
The other alternative is to purchase the seeds online from a genuine seed bank. Buying online offers you a selection from a wide range of strains. Moreover, some seed banks ship discreetly to your doorsteps with stealth packaging.
The Role of SAHPRA
The confusion among the people involved in the business still prevails. Would anyone be able to sell cannabis products for use as health supplements? Will the government permit growing cannabis on a large scale?
After all, if the demand increases and more products must be manufactured. Growing cannabis will get essential on a large scale. There is the regulatory jurisdiction, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).
If you want the license to manufacture cannabis products, you have to approach this organization.
It would help if you remembered that SAHPRA and the Department of Health could prescribe a ton of specifications even while granting the license. It is not one of the instances where you apply for and receive a permit and start with your activities.
There will be strict standards for each stage of the process, either related to manufacturing or marketing. SAHPRA can limit the zone and quantity of cultivation as well.
The regulatory authority reserves the right to do inspections of your premises to ensure you follow their conditions.
Regardless if you are a weed seed collector, cultivate your own supply or grow to exchange, South African marijuana strains will make a great addition to any weed cultivation. Whether you grow cannabis indoors or outdoors, rest assured that you will find cannabis strains that suit your needs.
Let’s have a look at cannabis strains that are originally from South Africa!
Top 6 South African Cannabis Strains
Every weed lover praises South African Cannabis strain. Although cannabis originated in Asia, the plant flourishes elsewhere in the world too. Yes, cannabis seeds have spread worldwide and one spot where you will find some of the best weather and conditions for cannabis cultivation in South Africa.
South Africa gets a lot of rainfall and has warm to moderate temperatures. The nation on the southern tip of Africa gets basked in great southern hemisphere sunlight.
These perfect growing conditions have prompted some tremendous South African landrace cannabis strains. Not just has South Africa produced one of the most famous Sativa cannabis seeds, but they have made some monster Indicas and hybrids too.
Here are the top 6 South African cannabis strains!
Marijuana World in South Africa
Cannabis cafes started springing up in Johannesburg and Cape Town after the landmark ruling in 2018. One enterprise, Cannapax, started selling franchise opportunities using a proviso in South African law.
Canapax author Russell de Beer said he was legally authorized to sell cannabis as medicine as he is a traditional curer, and it includes under the Traditional Health Practitioners Act.
Just like the cafes in Amsterdam, the Cannpax cafes let you pick from an assortment of strains, edibles, and other cannabis-infused products and stuff. While these cafes have existed for well longer than a year, there has been an ongoing crackdown from the South African Police Service.
In December 2019, the authorities raided Cannapax and arrested the organizer. At the hour of his arrest, there were 70 of these dispensaries operating countrywide.
If you run over a cannabis cafe in South Africa, it is an illegal establishment since buying and selling cannabis in South Africa is still illegal. The owners can no longer use the traditional healer escape clause.
The best way to legally get your hands on weed in South Africa is to cultivate it yourself or lookout for someone who will share it with you. Otherwise, you can order it online through a seed bank.
The Dagga Party
Jeremy Acton established The Dagga Party or Iqela Lentsango in South Africa in 2009. The Dagga Party believes marijuana consumers should have the same rights as those who use other controlled substances such as tobacco or alcohol.
Without the leadership of the Dagga Party and other marijuana activists, cannabis would not be where it is today in South Africa.
NORML in South Africa
NORML believes in support for adults’ right to use marijuana responsibly, whether for medical or personal objectives. All penalties, both common and criminal, should be eliminated for responsible use, possession and cultivation.
Further, a legally regulated market should be established where consumers could purchase marijuana in a safe and secure condition. This way, it eliminates the wrongdoing, corruption, and savagery associated with the illicit cannabis exchange.
The Green Week Online Cannabis Expo
The Green Week Online Cannabis Expo offers the perfect online platform for local and international entrepreneurs, medical health professionals, international investors, government, dispensaries, agricultural providers, lifestyle brands, and more to engage and interact online more than ever.
Green Week Cannabis Expo is a five-day cannabis virtual programme. It is an event where visitors can shop online and grab incredible deals on selected items from exhibitors.
They intend to help stimulate the local cannabis market in South Africa by offering a powerful space for industry experts to showcase their brand’s products and services.
Moreover, it also provides a virtual platform for business professionals to construct relationships by networking and forming strategic partnerships.
The Ultimate Future of Cannabis in South Africa
As things are, the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown imposed has implied that SAHPRA is handing out no new licenses for now.
On the legislation, as instructed by the Constitutional Court, it is reported that there is a law being drafted, and it might be called the ‘Regulation of Cannabis Bill’.
The Ministry of Justice, South Africa, has been drafting a bill. It is available for use among the many stakeholder divisions within the government.
The South African authorities are looking at the marijuana industry as a source of revenue for the government. As estimated, the business in the region could be worth approximately $23 billion in another three years.
That may incite the action on bringing in a comprehensive law for the whole value chain, from cannabis cultivation and manufacturing to supplying and retailing.
The South African government is an endorser to the international conventions dealing with narcotics and psychotropic substances. It should do the delicate balancing act of staying within these conventions while allowing limited consumption of cannabis.
The country may need to follow what numerous states in the US have done; make the use of marijuana legal in South Africa but for medicinal purposes.