JOHANNESBURG – Earlier this week several news sites reported that the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) and the SA Police Service (Saps) had issued a joint statement announcing a clamp down on illegal cannabis related businesses, saying that most of the businesses taking advantage of the growing demand for medical marijuana are breaking the law.
For entrepreneurs and business owners trying to take advantage of this fairly new sector, after the April Constitutional Court ruling permitting the personal use of cannabis in private, what is and isn’t legal seems to be causing increasing confusion and concern.
To further confusion, there was an exclusion notice issued in May around the dosage limits for related products.
“The April ruling related only to personal use and merely decriminalised the personal use of cannabis in private, rather than legalised it. This has created a legislatory void that is causing a lot of confusion – especially when it comes to businesses selling consumer goods that contain cannabis in some form,” says Andrew MacPherson, Associate in commercial law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s Dispute Resolution Practice.
MacPherson refers to the barrage of products that shot into the market – from CBD oils, CBD infused coffees, chocolates and drinks to teas, oils and creams.
“This is a new area of law and there are still a lot of grey areas,” says MacPherson.
He cautioned businesses and entrepreneurs looking for their slice of the action to ensure that they seek out proper legal expertise before launching Marijuana related products or services.
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