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CTAASAHPRA SET TO SNUFF OUT SMALL CBDCTAA (Cannabis Trade Association Africa)SAHPRA,(South African Health Products Regulatory Authority) is preparing to tighten the legislative noose around the necks of small CBD companies in South Africa by creating impossible barriers to manufacturing and trade.HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW, RIGHT NOWThe worldwide CBD industry has swift momentum as people become aware of the benefits of this extraordinary plant medicine and as legislators finally understand that CBD is neither addictive nor psychoactive. It’s an industry that is set to be valued at $3.1 billion in 2021, spawning a high stakes race to gain a share in a lucrative market sector.
But in South Africa, SAHPRA is determined to snuff out the entrepreneurial green shoots of small CBD companies by inexplicably restricting quantities of CBD to 20mg per dose and 600mg per package; an amount well below the standard dosage in Europe and the USA and amounts that are generally too low to be fully effective in the treatment of many of the ailments CBD is indicated for. Despite calls to SAHPRA for the justification of these dosage levels, SAHPRA has not been able to provide the evidence on which this is based.
Added to this, is a stipulation that all CBD manufacturers must have a ‘responsible pharmacist’ (at a resident salary of approximately R60 000 per month) even if their CBD is not manufactured on site.
Officially CBD cannot be infused into food and drinks – so no more CBD water, chocolates or gummies. SAHPRA have also warned that confiscations are imminent. BUT HEREIN LIES THE RUBSAHPRA intends to restrict supply, facilities and manufacture of CBD to SAPHRA licensed entities so that only those with deep pockets and expensive medical and pharmaceutical infrastructures will be able to afford the onerous licensing and production requirements.
The timing is interesting. Large pharmaceutical companies have been circling the CBD market for some time, watching with interest as small players laid down the hard work of pioneering markets and taking risks in a shaky legislative environment. Now poised to enter the marketplace, they need guarantees that their path to consumers will be trouble-free. Using their capital clout and corporate connections, big pharmaceutical companies stand to make a clean sweep into the market and establish total ownership of every element from propagation and manufacturing to labelling and pricing.
Natural medicines are a common treasury for all humankind and should remain accessible to all regardless of economic status and resources and yet the SAHPRA’s draconian laws are determined to close small businesses with a proven track record and drive up CBD prices to wholly inaccessible levels.
A fledgling natural medicine industry pioneered by South Africans who fundamentally and passionately believe in quality plant medicine is about to go up in smoke.
The government has indicated its willingness to move forward in opening up the CBD and Cannabis sector, however this vast abyss between SAHPRA and government is very troubling when it comes to creating regulations that are fair and have the best interests of the public in mind. WHAT CAN I DO?The Cannabis Trade Association Africa (CTAA) is an industry body and NPO that has taken SAHPRA and the National Department of Health to court (Monday 26 April, 2021) to challenge their efforts to over-regulate the industry. As you can imagine it’s an expensive exercise.
If you want to help, you can assist with donations to their legal fees. If you are in the cannabis industry, please join as a member and add your voice today. For more information on how to donate or join, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ctaa.org.za