Cannabis Conference Cape Town

After overwhelming response at the just ended Cannabis Conference 2019 -Johannesburg edition, we are back again this time in Cape Town, to continue the debates that emanated at the 27 & 28 June 2019 Conference in Johannesburg.

This Cape Town Cannabis Conference edition takes a further step into the cannabis discussions aiming at creating awareness on various issues within the Cannabis industry. This is a must attend for all cannabis suppliers and those involved in manufacturing, extraction, marketing and distribution.

For decades, the growth and use of cannabis (also known as marijuana, weed, pot, dagga) for either recreational and/or medicinal purposes remained prohibited in almost every part of the world. Despite its illegality, marijuana use has been fairly common as it remained one of the most popular illegal drugs used in the world. Only most recently have some countries (Canada, Switzerland, Peru, Portugal, Italy etc.) decriminalised cannabis use, with others restricting its use for medicinal purposes only (Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Greece etc.). Most African countries have remained adamant to decriminalise the use of cannabis, except for Lesotho and Zimbabwe which recently legalised growth of marijuana for medicinal use. It was only last year on the 18th of September when the South African constitutional court legalised adult use of cannabis in private and growing enough for personal consumption. Many celebrated this long-awaited court’s decision such that a competition titled “Bushmastery” was launched from January to May 2019, offering R1000 cash to anyone who can grow the biggest cannabis plant in the country. One could argue that this may be a strategy to encourage cannabis growers to venture into the burgeoning global cannabis industry. South Africa is amongst the very first few African countries to legalise marijuana use even though its usage is limited to the private sphere. What are the implications of this legalisation of marijuana for the country?

Moreover, just how much growth of cannabis is considered enough for personal consumption? And what are the implications of legalising marijuana for organisations (in the work place)? Since the drug remains in a person’s bloodstream for hours to days or even weeks after use, how can businesses set boundaries for marijuana use in the workplace? Furthermore, it is also interesting to note that global beverage company Coca-Cola has intentions of developing cannabis infused beverages which contain the ingredient cannabidiol, considering the growing market of the industry. What kind of ingredient is cannabidiol and what effects does it carry along? In fact, South African brewery, Poison City Brewing, recently produced a cannabis infused beer, Durban Poison, the first cannabis-based beer to be developed in the country. What does all this imply for the local cannabis industry? This conference offers a platform to discuss and shed light on all these issues.

It is not surprising that certain conservatives in South Africa, mostly in religious and political circles, are not pleased with the court’s decision to legalise marijuana, arguing that there is “objective proof of the harmful effects of cannabis” (The Telegraph, UK). It can be argued that nothing has without effects! In fact, studies have shown that legalisation of cannabis poses certain public health risks. Although the health benefits of cannabis have been widely celebrated, one should not overlook the pitfalls of marijuana legalisation. This ongoing debate on the decriminalisation of cannabis use is a pressing issue that needs attention. Hence, these issues are amongst the objectives of this conference, in order to gain more insight on the various effects of cannabis, both negative and positive, to discuss ways in which the plant can be utilised in doing more good than harm, and to explore the importance of growing the plant not only to the individual citizen, but also to the country as a whole, which could open up the eyes of those conservatives who seem to be against the legalisation of cannabis use. The Cape Town edition takes a further step in the cannabis discussions. This is a must attend for all cannabis suppliers, manufacturing, extraction, marketing, farmers and distributors.