Our experience being at the forefront of Cannabis legalisation in South Africa as well as working with fellow civil activists across the world, has meant we are able to provide unique insight into how Cannabis should be regulated. Our Full Spectrum Model aims to address concerns of corruption or “Cannabis Capture”, as well as taking into account our country’s long standing history with Cannabis prohibition. However Cannabis law reform in South Africa cannot happen in a vacuum, so this creates a need to look into other countries’ drug policies. Fields of Green for ALL has been involved on the international stage at several levels to acquire a balanced perspective on drug policies. In order to prevent repeating the mistakes of other countries, we need to look beyond our borders to help create contextually relevant Cannabis laws that reflect the unique social issues our country faces.
The de facto solution to creating structures to allow for trade in Cannabis has revolved around government issued licenses, as seen across most, if not all legal Cannabis jurisdictions globally. An expensive and bureaucratic laden licensing system is a recipe for disastrous Cannabis policy in South Africa. We fully acknowledge that regulation of trade is essential but our opposition to licenses is born out of experience of the exclusionary nature of this system in other parts of this world, and the very real threat of corruption here in South Africa. In order to create a legal Cannabis industry with low barriers to entry, our manifesto highlights two important models that we believe are core to achieving this: Hubs and Dagga Private Clubs (DPCs).
Hubs are farming cooperatives where small scale farmers are able to send their cultivated Cannabis to a nearby central hub where it will be further processed, tested, packaged and then distributed to market. Hubs benefit farmers by allowing them access to resources that they would not have been able to as an individual in a traditional “licensing” system. Dagga Private Clubs (DPCs) are registered non-profit companies formed by consenting adults who use Cannabis in a private space. A DPC grows and provides Cannabis to a closed network of members, where the members themselves can grow and contribute to their club. The formalization of DPCs began on 20 April 2019 with the launch of the South African Dagga Private Club Initiative led by Fields of Green for ALL, and today there are many DPCs operating all over South Africa, possibly in your neighbourhood, without you even knowing of their existence.