Dagga farming: few will be able to fulfil requirements

2017-03-08 15:01
Only a few farmers will be able or equipped to meet the stringent growing and production requirements to grow dagga for medicine extracts.

Only a few farmers will be able or equipped to meet the stringent growing and production requirements to grow dagga for medicine extracts. (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Medicines Control Council (MCC) on Monday promulgated 32 pages of guidelines for prospective growers of medical cannabis in South Africa.

According to the guidelines, anyone can apply, but few farmers will be able or equipped to meet the stringent growing and production requirements to grow dagga for medicine extracts.

The cost to apply for a manufacturer’s licence is R21 800 to the Registrar.

Applicants will need to show “adequate measures to ensure security, transport, destruction, reporting and employment of suitable persons” to be considered for a licence, which will be granted if the farmer can also show the ability to adhere to the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for medicines in SA. Registrar of medicines Dr Joey Gouws said anyone with a conviction for an illicit drug-related offence may not apply. This includes anyone ever arrested for being in possession of dagga in South Africa. Dagga, meanwhile, remains a prohibited narcotic substance in South Africa and growing it without a licence remains a criminal offence.


The general public has until the end the month to comment on these proposed regulations to grow cannabis for medicinal use.

Jeremy Acton and Ras Gareth Prince of the Dagga Party commented on Twitter: “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again ... dagga being illegal is a major source of corruption within the South African Police Service and in the criminal justice system in general.”

Green Fields for All’s Julian Stobbs earlier told the Daily Maverick the only thing a cannabis grower should need is a tax number. “[Cannabis] should be like the tobacco market in Zimbabwe, where everybody brings their crop to a central warehouse to get auctioned. Quality control and taxation happens at the warehouse,” Stobbs said.

Meanwhile, two high court challenges on the constitutionality of laws against cannabis in South Africa continue, led by the Dagga Party in Cape Town and, in Pretoria, by Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke.

• Download the MCC’s cannabis cultivation proposals from the notice board on www.mccza.com; and send comments to the registrar on gouwsj@health.gov.za

• Post your views on medicinal cannabis on The Witness Facebook page.

Patients who need to use dagga can still apply to the Medicines Control Council for permission, where the registrar of medicines Dr Joey Gouws Gouws advises patients need to get three permits:

from the director-general of Health to be in possession of cannabis at a cost of R820 per permit;

authorisation from the MCC to use dagga (which is regarded an unregistered medicine) as a medicine at a cost of R300 per application; and

a prescription from a medical practitioner (doctor) for cannabis with a motivation to the MCC why the patient needs the unregistered medicine, detailing the dosage regimen and the symptoms to be treated.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog



Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.