- Traditional marijuana growers are calling on the state to include them in plans to turn the 'illegal' trade into a cash cow
- The farmers are seeking to gain access to licences and authorisation to farm the 'miracle plant'
- Numerous people are waiting on the government to remove the red tape preventing them from taking advantage of the lucrative industry
Weed farmers are ready to work with the state and transform the industry from a shady underground scheme into a thriving endeavour.
The growers have long been selling off their produce to private buyers, either to smoke or to trade. While the plant has been legalised, there is still an endless supply of red tape prohibiting mass production and retail.
Loyiso Cele has called on government to decriminalise marijuana, commenting that:
“Cannabis has been a source of income for many households here in Mpondoland, and many areas in Bizana grew this to survive as there are no jobs in the province. Given a chance, this could prosper and would put this province on the map. With government support, this can grow to another level."
Cele wants to stop being an enemy of the state, asking the government to come on board and begin accepting taxes.
The community is willing to support the government in this regard, more than ready for the change that began with the Constitutional Court ruling last year.
Mpondoland residents say that legislation will help inject life into a struggling economy on both a national and provincial level.
Nonqaba Maxhoba, a mother of six children, says that selling marijuana has kept her afloat her entire adult life:
“There’s no work for our children and this is a God-given product. We hear these leaders talking on radio about their plans to support us. They need to make sure that what they are saying is realised."
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane recently joined those who are calling for the industry to be supported, saying that it had to be encouraged, but also regulated properly.
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