How to Franchise a Dagga Private Club

By |Published On: November 13th, 2020|
Cannabis Can Help South Africa

One of the most frequent questions I hear relating to Dagga Private Clubs is “How can I franchise my club?” I’ve had someone contact me, saying they have a medical grow license and they want to open three clubs. People have said that they have so many members all over the country, they just want to open more clubs – one in every province – because it makes sense. Some people really just can’t wrap their heads around the whole thing. Well, here’s how you franchise a Dagga Private Club:


The first reason why you don’t, is because your DPC needs to be registered as a non-profit company. According to the CIPC (where you register businesses in SA), “If you wish to run a franchise business, you would register a private company.” A Private Company requires to have at least one director and one incorporator, these could be the same person. A non-profit company requires at least three directors. The registration of the Club forms the first step to opening the DPC. If you’ve got this step wrong, you’re building on the wrong foundations.

Dagga Private Clubs are just that – PRIVATE clubs. Anything that requires to be shrouded in privacy, needs to embrace that cloak and keep its operations on the down-low. This is not because you are hiding (although it will count in your favour in that sense), but because what you are doing is between you and a group of people you know personally. It’s your collective private thing. Once you franchise this private thing, you tear the cloak of privacy and misuse the model to instead line your pockets with the shreds of integrity you tore apart.

A Canapax franchise branch (although not a Club) would’ve cost you about R75,000.00. There have been other club franchises available to buy, ranging between R50,000.00 and a whopping R200,000.00 (“family price”). This only grants you the license to operate under someone else’s brand and rules and management and limitations.

To register a Non-profit Company will cost you R75 for a name registration and about R800 to file the associated paperwork. So let’s call it R1,000.00 to set up your company.

Obviously, you’ll need infrastructure and growing equipment and the likes – unless you have your members growing for you, in which case you’ll spend even less on set-up fees for your Club.

The last thing I want to discuss here is the heart behind the reason. Why do you want to franchise your Club? What’s the core reason behind it?

If you have members all over the country and it becomes too difficult to manage, go to them and empower them to open their own club in their area. You don’t have to have a branch in every province that you know someone who may or may not want some weed at some stage. The only reason why you’d want to do this is to make money.

Now understand me clearly, you can make a very fair living by managing a Dagga Private Club, because you will be working for an organization that will pay you a salary for the work you do. But it’s not the place to start if you wanna get rich quick, or at all, for that matter.

A Club is NOT a legal loophole to sell Cannabis. If that’s what you want, you have to simply wait until it’s legal to do that. Sorry, there’s no way around it. The purpose of the DPC is to be a community enhancement project. A safe space for people you know and trust to safely get access to Cannabis that they know has been grown properly and according to their needs. Can’t that just be enough?

I’m ending off with a quote from an article by the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies:

“While in principle there may be nothing against the commercial production and distribution of Cannabis, it is not what Cannabis Social Clubs are established for. The group of people who form a Cannabis Social Club want to obtain control of the production of healthy (organic) Cannabis for an honest price that covers the efforts of growers and distributors. They want to make a statement to society that growing any natural plant for personal consumption should be an indisputable human right. Cannabis Social Clubs are meant as a tool of empowerment of the people, not entrepreneurs.”

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About the Author: Marleen Theunissen

Cannabis lover, spreader of love, hater of injustice and recently-turned activist.

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  1. JR April 21, 2023 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    I’ve got a community of Cannabis users that want to set up a club.

  2. joost sieger November 14, 2020 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Well said.
    If want to make money out of Cannabis you got to put up a fairly steep investment to legalize your business at this stage. The commerce with Cannabis is regulated and if your try to bypass the legislation you will be caught out sooner or later.

  3. Richard Vincent November 13, 2020 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Great article!

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