King Goodwill Zwelithini is gearing up to join South Africa’s “green revolution”, with plans already under way to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes on land in KwaZulu-Natal under his control.
Go Life International, a listed company that manufactures health supplements, has been in talks with the Ingonyama Trust Board since last year to grow cannabis on a 75-hectare stretch of trust land on the North Coast.
The trust has approached consultants in the cannabis industry with a view to them training people living in the area to grow and process cannabis for the medicinal and recreational markets.
Last month Zwelithini told the opening of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature that the time had come for people in the province’s rural areas to start investigating growing and processing cannabis for medicinal products. He called on government and the farming community to recognise the economic potential of cannabis now that its personal use had been decriminalised, and to take a “very close look” at the industry as a means of fighting unemployment and poverty in the province.
Ahmed Jamaloodeen, treasurer of the Cannabis Development Council of South Africa, said that all measures to place cannabis within the mainstream of the economy should be encouraged. “Cannabis is a new kid on the block, but as we move forward there will be more and more developments. What about cannabis banking; cannabis crop insurance; medical aid for employees in the cannabis industry?” he said.
Krithi Thaver, founder of Canna Culture and Holistic Releaf, South Africa’s first legal cannabis dispensary, said he had been approached by the Ingonyama Trust. “There was an initial discussion around the idea of setting up training camps for communities living on land administered by the trust in both the cultivation and processing of cannabis … we are open to any initiative which will assist in empowering ordinary people to enter the industry.”