FOREWORDWAITING IN VAINUnity is strength, and a recent mass action march in solidarity with various cannacentric stakeholders highlighted the burning issues we have faced over the last four years. Several organisations, along with representatives of the CTAA, voiced concerns in response to governments slow pace in addressing real, tangible cannabis reform, which also includes questions as to the mandate handed down to the government by the Constitutional Court in lei of formulating a privacy bill, relating to cannabis utilisation for South Africans.

Voicing the ongoing frustrations, and highlighting the constant delay tactics used by lawmakers, spanning the mandate requisition handed down in 2018, has fallen on governments' deaf ears for far too long. While the short notice and logistical challenges restricted attendance, we, the CTAA, feel that the action was indeed a success, that the message was delivered, and that we have been heard!
A memorandum was delivered to and signed by the office of the presidency, which the CTAA and those in attendance witnessed. Shortly after, we received acknowledgement from the presidency and were advised that they are making progress, which is somewhat contradictory when looking at any of the positive results made thus far. Though we feel that the mass action march was a success in that the right people have heard our message, it does not translate to any significant movement by the government to finally set timelines or "get the ball rolling" with effective changes for South Africans.

While the struggle continues to liberate cannabis for South Africans, developments abroad, specifically in the USA, have set ablaze some critical issues. With ongoing progressive efforts by President Biden and the federal government, steady progress has been made in the US. However, many of the compounding problems remain, as continued cannabis-related arrests, and in particular, the prevalence of arrests made in the non-Caucasian demographic, specifically people of African descent, is still an ongoing occurrence for states where legalisation of cannabis is still pending. South Africa heralds a long history of persecuting individuals who use cannabis, regardless of its cultural entrenchments and national pride values it presents.

Yet countries like the USA are leading legislative change in stopping the arrests, expunging records and releasing individuals, when we as a nation with traditional ties to cannabis spanning centuries still linger around uncertainty and fail in meeting on common ground!

We currently find ourselves in a precarious position, where we, as a people with an ingrained legacy of traditional cannabis culture, are not leading a global cannabis consensus progression but rather following, as we have done for far too long. Our leaders need to be brave and prove that they do indeed serve the nation's best interests. They lack "Chutzpah" and creativity in developing dynamic solutions that effectively deal with cannabis. Delay tactics and the apathetic attitude in addressing any issues set before our lawmakers are left to collect dust. In the interim, we sit in limbo while the world steals Africa's right to lead the cannabis revolution!

The solution is simple, yet it would appear that people need more preparation to take on the challenge and run the gauntlet! We need young, bold, innovative leaders to take the reins if we are ever to move forward and prosper, not just in the cannabis industry but as a nation of proud South Africans!
Tebogo Tlhopane
Cannabis Trade Association Africa - CTAA

Trailblazing Partners - Issue 6


Foreword - Issue 6


Issue 6 - Cover

Issue 6 - Cultivation