Dagga growers in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape are far from happy that the “holy herb” has been legalised for personal use, saying their businesses will suffer.
One man said that, now that people are allowed to grow dagga in their own back yards, they would not longer need to buy it from him.
“This might sound strange, but when people were celebrating the legal use of dagga, it was a setback for me as I’m someone who sells it. Now it’s a free-for-all, so who will want to buy it from someone else when they can grow it themselves and smoke it at their own convenience?” he asked.
“I have a big garden that most people in urban areas don’t have. So if I plant two hectares of dagga in my garden here for personal use, would that be allowed? There is so much that we still don’t know about this
The man said he had just harvested and sold most of his dagga crop.
When City Press visited his home on Thursday, small dagga plants were sprouting.
“This is nothing. If you were to visit in November, for instance, you would see real dagga,” he said.
Another grower from the village, who is notorious for growing vast quantities of dagga, said he was also out of stock, and agreed that the Constitutional Court ruling would have a negative impact on his business.
The man, who was reluctant to speak to City Press for fear that the interview was a trap set by the police, said he sold a small coffee mug full of dagga for R20, a 20-litre container for R500, and 100 litres or more for up to R4 000.
“The biggest market for us is Cape Town – that is where we send most of the dagga,” he said.
The man said there were many different dagga varieties, which, depending on the type people chose to grow, could be cultivated outside or indoors.
He plants his behind his mealie crop.