Please note: The Act was eventually gazetted on 3 June 2024 and is not yet in force. According to section 8 (short title and commencement) it 1) will come into operation on a date fixed by the President by proclamation in the Gazette, and 2) 'different dates may be proclaimed in respect of different provisions of the Act and the different items of the Schedule to the Act'.

According to a Presidency media statement issued late on 28 May 2024, the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill’s ‘B’ version has been signed into law. However, at the time of writing this new piece of legislation had yet to be gazetted. As a result, its status is not clear, although regulations are likely to be required to give the Act practical effect. These  will need to be released in draft form for public input before they can be finalised and the Act operationalised.

Against that backdrop, once in force the Act will:

  • regulate ‘the cultivation, possession and use of cannabis by adults in a private setting’
  • prohibit ‘dealing in cannabis’, and
  • amend various statutes ‘to allow for the industrialisation of the cannabis sector’ and the commercial production of hemp.

It is also expected to:

  • guide ‘the medically prescribed administration of cannabis to a child’
  • protect children from ‘undue exposure to cannabis’, and
  • ensure that, in their efforts to ‘address the issue of the prohibited use, possession of, or dealing in cannabis by children’, the authorities consider the best interest of the child concerned (presumably on a case-by-case basis).

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Published by SA Legal Academy Policy Watch

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