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CTAA FOREWORDAs a business owner, CEO and board member of various entities working together for progress, I have had a front-row seat to witness the ongoing battle rooted in politics and red tape that currently hinders seeing the Cannabis plant flourish in a country that sorely needs the help it offers.
With the focus of this issue being the 'Business of cannabis, I feel it fitting to look at where we are and what is needed to allow the cannabis industry to grow.
The purpose of the Cannabis Trade Association Africa (CTAA) has always been to foster an environment between the traders of cannabis and cannabis-related products in this country that sees the industry flourish. For some time now, we have been assisting the government with putting together a cannabis master plan, and it is unfortunate that it has taken so long to get clarity on where the government is at. The lack of consensus and direction has done little to instill confidence, and the continued interference of the likes of SAHPRA has stifled industry growth and fostered confusion about how to move forward.
The lack of a policy framework within the government that governs the plant, and allows us to put it on the table for people to use, is why we are currently where we are. The appointment of someone capable of navigating the treacherous political waters to garner support to formulate a strategy has been welcomed by all and will hopefully lead to the establishment of the much-needed Master Plan, which will enable us to start contributing.
As growers and business owners on ground level, we have survived the continued villainisation of cannabis, the stagnancy brought about by a pandemic, and the continued efforts of self-invested parties to stifle our progress, and we are still here. We know what we want, and it is unfortunate that we have to litigate logic. Only if we work cohesively and remain united to achieve this common goal can we move forward and see the eventual commercialisation of hemp and cannabis in all sectors – Industrial, ecological, socio-economical, medicinal, agricultural, and so much more, come to fruition.
In closing, I leave this message to the president: 'We are we are here to help you to grow the economy and get the youth off the streets and back to work. Allow cannabis to prosper'. Tebogo Tlhopane – CEO Biomuti and Board member with the CTAA
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