Do YOU Want a License to Grow Cannabis?

By |Published On: February 7th, 2017|

We are inundated with requests for information on how to obtain a license to cultivate, trade in, or use Cannabis for medical purposes (of course!). If you contact us about this you will receive this stock reply:

“Hello there. Everyone is asking the same question and we’re not sure of the answer. If the ‘old’ system is still in place, you’ll need a Section 21 application to grow medicine from the Department of Health. We keep sending inquiries in that direction but we don’t know of a single successful application. According to the Department of Health /Medicines Control Council, they will be promulgating guidelines for tenders, licences etc in February 2017. We are waiting to see how it will pan out. You can find the Section 21 application forms here and we’ll let the community know as soon as we hear of any progress. In the meantime, please consider supporting us by joining The Green Network as that is where the most important conversations are taking place.”

After fighting for nearly seven years for the legalisation of our favourite plant, we doubt very much that the government are going to back down easily and allow any “mom & pop” operation to obtain a “license”. Who says they are even going to be “giving out” licenses? What if a license costs R1 million, or even more? There are many questions and no sign of any answers yet. Quintin van Kerken of the Anti Drug Alliance (one of our expert witnesses for The Trial of the Plant) summed it up very well in a Facebook post in November 2016:

” The Anti Drug Alliance has fervently followed the new dagga bill and what it may mean for South Africa. Whilst we commend government for taking a (very minor) step in the right direction, we would like to highlight a few problems that we believe are major stumbling blocks in the process.

To begin with, the plant will be moved from Schedule 7 to Schedule 6. In plain language, this means that a doctor will be able to prescribe cannabis for diseases such as cancer / HIV, and for pain management (according to the numerous press releases). The prescription thereof will be under strict guidelines.

Some questions regarding this:

Who is going to educate the doctors so they know when to prescribe?
Does the prescription thereof also follow through to Traditional Healers?
Who gets to judge who is “sick enough” to get cannabis?
Words such as “justifiable medical reason” have been used, with no elaboration. Why?
Why does the government get to tell sick people, or any person for that matter, HOW and WHEN they are allowed to medicate themselves, and WHAT medicines they are allowed to use?

Next, the issuing of “special licenses” to grow the plant is a concern.

Who gets these licenses?
How do they apply?
What will the criteria be?
Are current “illegal” growers with a wealth of expertise and experience going to be allowed to apply?
Is it going to “go to tender”?
How many licenses will be issued? 
What changes then need to be made to all the other Acts that concern dagga? Act 140 of 1992 (Drugs and Trafficking Act), Medicines and Related Substances Act, and how will this all be policed?

How many arrests will be bungled, how many civilian claims will be paid out by the police, simply because the cops on the street simply don’t know how to enforce the law, which experts even battle to understand?

It is already a major concern that certain political parties have issued statements that their efforts to fight the “drug war” will be intensifying, and that specialised units have once again been established. Does this not seem like a hypocrisy?

Quintin goes on to describe the hypocrisy in some detail. We know that the developments in parliament are a step in the right direction and we hate to “burst your bubble” but Cannabis (medicinal or otherwise) is NOT going to be available to ALL South Africans without a fight. That fight is happening in court, not in parliament. Parliament will be forced to act by the Constitutional Court.

The best way forward is to:

  1. Know the facts. Start by reading the MCC’s guide to scheduling of drugs. Once you know how the scheduling works you will understand that there is still a long way to go. Know the laws and processes that are being followed to change them. Don’t be naive by thinking this is a done deal because of one announcement in parliament.
  2. Be impeccable in what you do. If you are already operating a Cannabis “business” outside the law you have to be vigilant, know your stuff, don’t make outrageous claims and join Fields of Green for ALL’s affiliate programme. Don’t operate in a vacuum, it won’t get you anywhere. Everyone has a lot to learn and there is enough space for everyone. There is a reason we are called Fields of Green for ALL!
  3. Contribute to the conversation. Join The Green Network and have your say about what YOU think legal Cannabis should look like in SA. This conversation is happening right now.
  4. Help where you can. Visit The Dagga Couple How You can Help page, there are many options!

We know we will continue to receive mails from complete strangers wanting us to help them get a “license” but we hope that we can continue to help in the fight against the ignorance surrounding this complex subject. If anyone claims that they have a license to grow medical Cannabis they are not telling the truth and / or they are in cahoots with corrupt government officials. CANNABIS IS NOT LEGAL YET, IN ANY FORM, FOR ANY PURPOSE. There are no licenses or permits. Help us to change that, please.

Green Regards

Myrtle, Jules, William and the Fields of Green for ALL crew.




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Thank you to our FGA Affiliates who help to make our ongoing content creation possible!


About the Author: Myrtle Clarke

Everyone here on TGN should know who I am!

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  1. Bawinile Mahlambi June 29, 2021 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    I will be appreciated if I can get information about planting marijuana legal in SA

  2. Vusi March 11, 2021 at 7:51 am - Reply

    I would like to have a cannibals licence

  3. Life 360 July 24, 2019 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Good day, How does one become a reseller, I don’t want to grow my product, buy and resell for medicinal reasons, I am a Traditional; Healer. Is there a license for this?

    • Jules Stobbs July 25, 2019 at 2:56 pm - Reply

      Not yet. We are quite a long way off for individual trade. The laws will take time to change. There is a franchise called ‘Canapax’ who claim to have a way around the laws concerning Traditional Healers and cannabis. There are stores popping up countrywide. Try them perhaps?

  4. Danny May 12, 2019 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Growers should not have to be regulated as such. Medicine is a different ball game. Medicine makers have the expertise and the know how to test the raw ingredients for contaminants and toxic fungicides and pesticides. Having a grow facility under licence on contract with medicine makers, complete with audits, checks and balances helps get rid of a lot of this work. There is so much to consider when selling something as safe and reliable medicine. There are a lot of oil merchants out there using unsafe solvents, and or bad or contaminated raw material and selling it black market often with false hope and exaggerated claims. On the other end of the coin, no one should tell you what you may or may not consume at home. It’s a decision that rests solely on the home consumer. Charge someone money for it and I think it’s fair to have checks and balances in place. Can anyone honestly say that there is enough integrity out there to produce medicine unregulated? This is not aimed at offending anyone who may produce medicine, it’s just that, trust aside, how would I know I am getting what you claim? Mentioned earlier was farming and growing food. Big commercial farms still have to have systems in place such as global good agricultural practices (global gap). People who process raw food ingredients into finished products have to follow HACCP principles on top of that. Imagine what would happen if even the food industry was deregulated? Can you imagine how many other tiger brands type fiascos we would have? Checks and balances do have a big influence on your lives folks, whether you do know about them or not. It’s not just all political and red tape, it is indeed necessary and is very demanding on following systems to ensure safe consumption. Same goes with your kitchen at home, screw them if they want to force you to run your kitchen a certain way. Most of what you do is common sense to make sure you don’t hurt yourself or family. Food safety is 100x more than what you do for yourself. Does everyone posses the integrity to care as much of the end consumer as they do themselves? We all know the answer to that, especially in South Africa

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