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How to ensure SA's soon-to-be regulated hemp industry will thrive

15 February 2020 10:18 AM
Tags:
Dagga
Marijuana
cannabis
President Cyril Ramaphosa
thc
cbd oil
#Sona2020
hemp industry
Hemporium
Tony Budden
Tony Budden (Hemporium) responds to Ramaphosa's Sona announcement - SA has to play catch-up, learn from global best practise.

There was applause in Parliament when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced government will be opening up and regulating the commercial use of hemp products, during Thursday's State of the Nation Address (Sona).

RELATED: SONA2020: On Eskom, SAA, land distribution, the NHI and dagga

It's a move Hemporium owner and co-founder Tony Budden has been fighting for since 1996.

Budden himself lives in a hemp house in Noordhoek, where the furnishing are also made from hemp.

Hemp fabric swatches. Image credit: hemporium.co.za

It's been a long walk to freedom so to speak, waiting for almost 27 years... for someone to stand up in Parliament and from the highest office in the land to say it's not if or when, it's how we're going to get this industry going in the country.

Tony Budden, Owner and co-founder - Hemporium

He says it would be a mistake to see South Africa as just a hemp export country: "That ship has sailed."

Canada is way ahead of us - they're the biggest market at the moment for legal cannabis and for hemp and they've got more than enough in their own country.

Tony Budden, Owner and co-founder - Hemporium

Europe as well - we've got east Europe growing hemp and we've got Germany and Denmark, countries like that growing medical cannabis. We've got our little neighbour Lesotho growing lots of medical cannabis...

Tony Budden, Owner and co-founder - Hemporium

The key for us is to not only look at a net export of just growing to try and send to other international markets, but to really set up something local to make sure this industry thrives.

Tony Budden, Owner and co-founder - Hemporium

He outlines the range of products that can be made from hemp as well as the support needed from government to set up processing facilities and ensure access by small farmers.

As you know I live in a hemp house, I'm sitting on a hemp couch... Right now, that whole industry around building, jobs, obviously the food side for hemp, animal feed, paper, the works. That whole industry is locked and loaded and ready to go.

Tony Budden, Owner and co-founder - Hemporium

On the medical side - currently we're allowed schedule 6 for THC which is ok, but to get a product to that point you have to spend billions to do your clinical trials and then it ends up costing around R30,000-R50,000 a month.

Tony Budden, Owner and co-founder - Hemporium

CBD has been de-scheduled to schedule 4 which is a non-psycho active cannabinoid, but schedule 4 is also prescription only.

Tony Budden, Owner and co-founder - Hemporium

We're proposing that we do something similar to what California and Colorado and Canada did on the medical side where it's more a recommendation from your doctor that you can use medical cannabis for health problems, not specifically to stop seizures or end your nausea for chemo... but actually if you want, as an adult, on a day to day basis for general health issues.

Tony Budden, Owner and co-founder - Hemporium

For more detail on how to move forward with SA's commercial hemp and cannabis industry, take a listen:

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15 February 2020 10:18 AM
Tags:
Dagga
Marijuana
cannabis
President Cyril Ramaphosa
thc
cbd oil
#Sona2020
hemp industry
Hemporium
Tony Budden

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