Since its introduction in South Africa’s parliament two years ago, the yet to be passed Medical Innovation Bill has been steadily declining into irrelevance. If the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) gets its way though we could see the wheels start turning as early as this year.
“The time has come that we need to just focus on the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes. We can’t allow this Bill to drag on… millions of people out there require (help) that the pain and suffering they go through can be alleviated,” says IFP Chief Whip, Narend Singh. Whether the much celebrated bill finds actual traction however remains to be seen.
Despite the promise of the MIB getting medicinal cannabis off of the ground, there remain ongoing concerns that the bill remains vague and will likely result in the industry being cartel’ed via closed door deals and tenderpreneurs swooping in to dominate an industry that has so far relied on the efforts of suppliers and patients, who are effectively breaking the law, to obtain these products. The most contentious issue surrounding the bill remains the caveats regarding commercial and industrial production, something that Singh has sought to alleviate by advising that they will be removed to ensure the smoothest possible passage for the bill.
While the final form of the bill remains to be seen and will likely have critics and fans across the board, the details of the who, what, how, when and why are still transparently thin.
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