Following its success in Pretoria, Cape Town, and Durban, the Cannabis Expo is set to bring high quality fun to Johannesburg, despite a recent ‘stern’ SAPS statement which had potential visitors questioning whether or not they will be in attendance.
The expo is set to run from November 28 to December 1 at the Sandton Convention Centre, with over 200 exhibitors representing organisations from across the cannabis industry, reports Sandton Chronicle.
“The South African Police Service is issuing a stern warning that the establishment of illegal dispensaries/outlets, online sites and social media platforms which are marketing and selling cannabis and cannabis-related products to the public remains illegal, except where specifically allowed in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act,” said the joint statement issued by the police and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority.
According to the expo’s organiser, Silas Howarth, the event will proceed as normal as no illegal products would be sold.
“The legal cannabis industry is huge and rapidly expanding, with so many legal cannabis-related products and services already available here in South Africa. The Cannabis Expo is a showcase of the entire legal cannabis industry. As with any other major exhibition or conference, and as with our previous expos, no illegal products will be allowed to be traded at the Cannabis Expo,” Howarth added.
He added that the organisers had approached all the relevant authorities required to host the expo and conference.
“We are events specialists and have been hosting major public events and expos across South Africa for over 12 years. We expect a moderate police presence, as per any public exhibition, and always invite and allow SAPS personnel to attend and enjoy the events.
“There are so many legal cannabis-related products on offer, from health products to growing products and cannabis-specific fertilisers to hemp clothing and textiles. The Cannabis Expo promotes and encourages the responsible use of all legal cannabis-related products and services.”
The national police service would, however, once again like to remind the public that only persons 18 years and older may use, possess or cultivate cannabis for their personal consumption in private.
“The South African Police Service is mandated to and will act, not only against businesses that sell cannabis illegally, but also against the customers who buy these products,” noted police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.
Howarth recommended that those wishing to get advice on the responsible use of cannabis attend the expo.
“Experts from across the cannabis industry will be giving talks and workshops every half-hour throughout the Cannabis Expo,” he concluded.
Five facts about the South African cannabis industry:
- Cannabis is currently listed as Schedule 7 substances in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965 (Act 101 of 1965).
- The government still has to decide how much cannabis a person may use in a private capacity.
- The United Nations has estimated that the African continent as a whole already produces over 38,000 tons of cannabis per year despite the fact that it is illegal to grow and possess in most countries.
- In a recent study by the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime, more than 70% of cannabis entering South Africa originates from Lesotho.
- The South African market for cannabis and cannabis-related products is estimated to be worth R27 billion per year by 2023, according to a report by pro-cannabis consultancy firm Prohibition Partners.