South Africa's black farmers fight to enter marijuana market

The new marijuana industry could soon be controlled by big pharmaceutical companies, cutting out long-time growers
The New York Times (US)
Wednesday, January 8, 2020

sa cannabis cultivationFollowing the Constitutional Court's decision in 2018 to decriminalize the personal use and cultivation of cannabis in South Africa, there are concerns on the ground that black farmers who have been working for decades in what has been an illegal industry may miss out on the potential boom. Many smaller growers cannot afford to get the licenses needed to grow marijuana for medicinal and research purposes. The stringent requirements include getting police clearances, registering a specified plot size, erecting high-tech security fencing, getting irrigation systems and setting up agreements with overseas buyers, among others. The cost of establishing a legal marijuana farm is estimated to be $200,000 to $350,000, according to a South African agricultural publication, Landbouweekblad.