THE farming of cannabis is reportedly a billion-dollar industry worldwide and recent reports say farmers in KZN will be allowed a piece of the pie soon. The economically transforming uses for cannabis range from industrial to medicinal with 20 000 products possibly made. Entities, including the medicinal marijuana giant, House of Hemp and Canna Culture, have come together under the Cannabis Developing Council of South Africa to make this a reality for farmers.According to their website, the council will, with the backing of government, facilitate the development of a cannabis industry cluster in the country.As such the council will be assisting small-scale rural farmers in KZN, including the South Coast.While the council’s objective will be to “uplift local communities through job creation, health care and education” they also aim to minimise the harm of use especially in keeping cannabis out the hands of the youth and intensifying the fight to “keep profits out of the hands of organised crime”.The KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has, however, distanced itself from the cultivation of cannabis for now.Department spokesperson Khayelihle Nkwanana said on Monday that various entities had approached the department for support, however, the department was waiting on Parliament’s final ruling on the matter. “Although the cultivation of cannabis was passed by the high court the SAPS then appealed the ruling and so a legislative process is still under way,” said Nkwanana. “In principle we may support the notion as the industry would cause drastic economic transformation for the country, however, until a ruling is passed by Parliament deeming it legal, we cannot officially support it because that would be in violation of the law,” said Nkwanana.