Medical Marijuana March 7, 2017

Medical Marijuana Guidelines Released, What It Means For SA Growers & Patients

Safely buy medical marijuana in South Africa

At the end of last year we reported that government indicated it planned to legalise medical marijuana in South Africa. The Medical Controls Council (MCC) has just released its medical marijuana guidelines for the cultivation, production and use of medical cannabis. This is of significant importance to prospective medical cannabis growers, patients and all South Africans who are interested in seeing a legal cannabis market.

See the 32 page medical marijuana guidelines here

Strictly controlled

The document provides strict guidelines and information to applicants wanting to grow, test or manufacture medical cannabis related products in South Africa. It details critical production steps that are needed to ensure a product is of a reliable and reproducible quality. In other words, the entire growing process will be strictly monitored and controlled; from the security of your grow operation, training of staff and which strains are allowed to be grown to light intensity, temperature, humidity control and even time and method of harvesting.

There’s a lot of red tape to get through, but this is to be expected when growing standardised, medical grade cannabis.

3 types of licenses

There are currently 3 types of licenses that one can apply for.

1. Cultivate/grow and produce Cannabis and Cannabis resin;

2. Extract and test Cannabis, Cannabis resin and/or cannabinoids;

3. Manufacture a medicine containing cannabinoids.

Who can apply?

As far as it seems, anyone can apply. The MCC will assess your situation as long as you meet the extensive security, building and financial requirements. You’re also not allowed to have a criminal record, history of illicit drug use or a conviction for an illicit drug-related offence. License holders will need to comply with regular drug tests and security checks.

What this essentially means is that the experts in our current illicit industry will be excluded from participation in the new legal framework. Those who have been telling us all along that there is value in the plant while the MCC was telling us it had no recognised medicinal value; those that know how to grow the plant and have the best experience in doing so; those that risked their lives and livelihood to provide the medicine to those in need “against the law”, and
 those that deserve to be recognised as being right all along.

What can patients expect?

The proposed medical marijuana guidelines allow patients to access medicinal cannabis products by means of a prescription issued by a medical practitioner, where the product may be dispensed at pharmacy level.

The guidelines document the production of raw cannabis into “herbal” medicines that contain exclusively herbal substances. This may include medical cannabis products such as extracts, tinctures, oils or expressed juices or powders.

In exceptional cases, unregistered medicines containing Cannabis/cannabinoids may be prescribed by medical practitioners for medicinal purposes. This is unlikely to be dry herb though, but most likely the above mentioned “herbal” products, just not from your registered pharmacy.

Find medical marijuana suppliers in South Africa

What happens next?

The public has until the end of March to comment on the proposed medical marijuana guidelines document and legislation could be passed as soon as May. Although this is a step in the right direction, it will still be a highly controlled medicine to be explicitly used under scheduled conditions. The document essentially precludes many South Africans from accessing anything other than Dronabinol until another Schedule 6 cannabis medicine is registered.

While not entirely inaccessible to the majority on schedule alone, the cost of these products will determine how many actually benefit from these changes. No matter how the MCC wants to spin it, this document is one of exclusion and deviates from the constitutional rights many fight for.

If you ask us, we’ll still tell you it is illegal and for all intents and purposes it is. The simple fact of the matter is such: if you are permitted, by law, to produce and possess products such as morphine, chances are you might have a shot at a license. For the rest of us, there has never been a better time to band together and constructively resist and topple the monopoly of prohibition.

How to comment and leave feedback on the proposed guidelines

1. Download the MCC template for comments on regulations here.

2. Complete the template and email your feedback to Joey.Gouws@health.gov.za

3. Please CC high@btl.co.za – so that your comments don’t disappear in Joey Gouws’ inbox!

Related news

SA’s Best Vaporizer Store

14 thoughts on “Medical Marijuana Guidelines Released, What It Means For SA Growers & Patients

  1. Thanks for the info

  2. […] Medical Marijuana Guidelines Released, What It Means For SA Growers & Patients […]

  3. […] Medical Marijuana Guidelines Released, What It Means For SA Growers & Patients […]

  4. Thank you very much.

  5. and this means it will go the same way as in the tates. only pharma will get licenses and will charge the crap out of people needing the end product…

    1. Actually medical marijuana in the States is cheaper than the recreational stuff and it’s not pharmacies getting licenses but individual growers. Don’t know where you got your info but it’s not true 🙂

    2. @ Lari: Unfortunately you don’t have the correct info. A pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceutical, which is US based, have been part of the legalization discussions from the start. Product will be cultivated here on home soil, exported to the states for extraction and sold back to SA @ a premium. The ordinary citizens will not benefit as it will be too expensive. Just another ANC tactic to enrich themselves before the gravy train derails.

    3. @Not#1 There are people here that will be able to do the extractions, guaranfuckinteed. This can be sold at wholesale prices to pharmacies that will enjoy a 30% markup on the retail price. Still, much cheaper than importing the stuff from the US of A.

  6. Thats what Babylon does, thats how it rolls, wish we had done something for the community. Great to see you writing again Sticky Scissors. Are you still offering bucks for writing articles?

  7. Kappie en masker op die plaas? Is hulle bef0k in hulle koppe?

  8. What is this Zolr (safely buy medical marijuana)? Cannabis is illegal like cocaine and heroin. I think btl has been turned by the police and are trying to collect all the info of all the sellers now so that they can help them remove illegal sellers before they legalize it for gov to take advantage.

    If I was a seller I would not sign up for zolr and if I was a buyer I would be very careful of that site. All it takes is one letter from the hawks and zolr will have to release all of its logs to the authorities.

    I expect to see some big raids on sellers this year and someone that runs it will be doing time. (Just like Ross Ulbright is doing time for Silk Road) ..

    For those of you that think they can get away with buying illegal drugs online think again.

    Zolr is also runnning on wordpress (Very easy to hack the logs and put in back doors).

    1. Hey nicetry.

      The reality is that the illicit market is not going away anytime soon, and patients will still be buying oil illegally. In its current state, patients are getting ripped off by scam artists left right and center. Zolr aims to create transparency by allowing patients to review suppliers and make the market safer.

      The suppliers listed are already 100% public with websites, facebook pages etc. It’s nothing new. Zolr is just making it safer for patients to get from trusted suppliers.

      Hope this clarifies.

  9. […] Well the gig is up, the joke’s on us and the MCC gave fair warning as early as November 2016. While the majority of South African cannabis enthusiasts were well distracted by the possibility of all medical cannabis they could grow, all the “healing” they could achieve and not to mention the “donations”, businessmen were looking at the lesser interesting part of the announcement. […]

  10. Thank you for this regulation info. Indeed, by the nature of this medical plant product, strict regulations and well-studied guidelines must be imposed. Other localities can learn from these implementations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *