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SONA: South Africa to open up and regulate hemp for commercial use

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South Africa will, this year, open up and regulate the commercial use of hemp products – providing business opportunities for the country’s small-scale farmers, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday, 13 February 2020.

Ramaphosa said his government would formulate policy on the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes to “build this industry in line with global trends.”

Delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) before a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament, he said: “The regulatory steps will soon be announced by the relevant ministers.”

He reiterated that agriculture was one of the country’s industries with the greatest potential for growth.

This year, the government implemented key recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture to accelerate land redistribution, expand agricultural production and transform the industry.

The Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform was established to review, research and suggest models for the government to implement a fair and equitable land reform process.

A consultative process that involved thousands of ordinary South Africans was undertaken across the country to allow citizens the opportunity to express their opinions on the land issue in public hearings or via written submissions.

The report provides perspectives on land policy in the context of persisting land inequality, unsatisfactory land,  agrarian reform, and uneven urban land development.