Eastern Cape ready to 'exploit' dagga industry with SA's first cannabis college
The Eastern Cape has an international reputation for many things which along with its spectacular coastline, includes the quality dagga appreciated by users of the weed.
Now the provincial government has approved the setting up of what would be South Africa's first cannabis college.
Cannabis will still have to be recognised as a licensed agricultural crop for full-scale development, but rural development MEC Nomakhosazana Meth wants the province to be ready for commercialisation.
She says they need to ensure they exploit this potential to create economic growth and employment in the province.
We are saying the Eastern Cape is the capital province and Lusikisiki is known to be the world's capital town of cannabis.Nomakhosazana Meth, Rural Development MEC - Eastern Cape
It is clear that the tide is shifting world-wide towards ensuring that this industry is the one that is used and is optimized to ensure that we grow.Nomakhosazana Meth, Rural Development MEC - Eastern Cape
Clement asks about still-remaining legal obstacles that could trip up this vision.
Meth says they are "readying" themselves for national government to move faster with widening the scope of legalisation.
We all know there was a Constitutional Court decision to legalise medical cannabis... We as the communities and the farmers in particular... we must be pushing government to say we are ready because already we know there is a black market.Nomakhosazana Meth, Rural Development MEC - Eastern Cape
The black market is only dealing with the primary production and our people are not that aware and not empowered in terms of understanding the value of this plant, so they are vulnerable.Nomakhosazana Meth, Rural Development MEC - Eastern Cape
She says once government comes up with the legislation that allows full-swing development of the cannabis plant, the Eastern Cape does not want to be left behind.
Hear more about the MEC's vision here: