Fields of Green for ALL has fought and won many battles over the years. Of course, we have always relied on those with the will, the skill, and the power of the quill to reform policy to unleash Cannabis for ALL.
Today, we would like to introduce you to our new(ish) legal team at Cullinan & Associates Inc.
Established in 1997 and based in Cape Town, Cullinans is the oldest specialist environmental and green business law firm in South Africa.
With legalisation processes underway for Cannabis and Industrial Cannabis (“Hemp”) development steadily gaining momentum, Cullinans established a dedicated Cannabis and Natural Medicines branch in 2021.
Comrades old and new, the Cullinans Cannabis Team is the fighting force ensuring a Human Rights approach is central to realising the Constitutional Rights of ALL South Africans to engage with and participate in Cannabis.
Let’s get to know the team:
BA, BA (Hons), LLB (Natal), LLM (Environmental Law) (London)
Director of Cullinan & Associates, Cormac has worked in over 20 countries in the past two decades, developing environmental and governance expertise few can rival.
Cormac’s Cannabis expertise lie in reviewing the regulatory framework for medicinal Cannabis as well as conducting legal compliance audits for facilities in Lesotho; analysing the legal requirements for cultivating Cannabis and manufacturing Cannabis products locally; and developing an online compliance management system to assist compliance with the applicable laws and SAHPRA requirements.
LLB (NMU), Certificate of Customary Law
Ricky, our very own Brother Green, has been with us since 2012. Myrtle and Jules met him at a community presentation hosted at a dingy bar in Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) while on their very first roadshow as The Dagga Couple. He joined the Cullinans team in May 2021.
Ricky’s legal focuses span public and private sectors, environmental and marine law matters, public procurement, and administrative law.
However, Ricky is best known for his work in Cannabis. He has pioneered legal advisory services, helping to end the aerial crop spraying of Landrace Cannabis crops with glyphosate – a known carcinogen – in the Umzimvubu region on behalf of the indigenous amaMpondo people.
Ricky is also part of the legal team behind the Trial of the Plant.
BA, LLB (Rhodes)
Paul-Michael (aka PM) was admitted as an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa, with right of Appearance since 2013 when he accepted our brief to assist us – The Dagga Couple – in decriminalising the use, possession, and trade of Cannabis. He has headed our legal team since 2014.
Our relationship with PM already started back when we read one of his early academic papers discussing Cannabis decriminalisation within South Africa (2009). Since our initial introduction, we have walked alongside PM, overcoming challenges and marking some great milestones – most notably the 2018 ConCourt ruling.
PM joined Myrtle at the UN in Vienna at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs 66 (2023). He spoke on the need to take a Human Rights centred approach to Cannabis, and by extension, Drug regulation.
BA (Political Science), LLB (Cum Laude), LLM (Environmental Law) (Wits) Certificate in Advanced Commercial and Contract Law (UCT)
Divina Naidoo, senior associate with Cullinans, is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa. With a background in Environmental Law, Divina has developed expertise in energy and mining law, with particular focus falling on coastal, renewable energy, and biodiversity matters, all of which are integral to developing a sustainable and capable Cannabis Sector.
Lesai joined Cullinans this year as a junior associate with a particular focus on ecological sustainability and environmental law. Since the start of his legal career, Lesai has cultivated expertise in various environmental matters. Lesai’s early legal days in Johannesburg saw him assist in bail applications for Cannabis-related arrests. These things, paired with his current assistance in major High Court litigation, makes Lesai the perfect addition to an already fierce team of legal minds.
Although not strictly on the Cullinans Cannabis Team, Victoria Keichel – Paul-Michael’s awesome wife – is a part of our family. Victoria constantly inspires us to approach things from different angles. She has become an invaluable member of our team and continues to bring a new perspective to the various obstacles we face in correcting the controls on Cannabis.
There you have it, our Legal Team of Green. Welcome Cullinan and Associates Inc. Let’s do this!