South Africa Legalises Cannabis for Personal Use and Cultivation

by Marijuana Staff

In a landmark move for cannabis reform in Africa, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially signed the Cannabis for Private Purposes Act (CfPPA) into law. The new legislation regulates the cultivation, possession and use of cannabis by adults in private settings across the country.

This major legal overhaul entirely removes cannabis from the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act, decriminalising personal cultivation and use. It also sets the stage for wider reforms opening up South Africa's cannabis industry through amending laws like the Medicines and Related Substances Act, Plant Breeders Rights Act and Plant Improvement Act.

Key provisions of the new CfPPA include:

  • Legalising the private cultivation, possession and consumption of cannabis by adults. #HOMEGROW
  • Allowing legitimate access to cannabis products for medical use by children when prescribed
  • Prohibiting the public use or dealing of cannabis to protect against exposure to children
  • Establishing pathways for addressing underage cannabis possession without criminal penalties

While public consumption and sales remain prohibited, the Act opens the door to establishing a regulated adult-use cannabis program alongside South Africa's existing medical marijuana and industrial hemp initiatives.

Cannabis activists and industry leaders in South Africa have worked for decades to reform the country's antiquated cannabis prohibition policies. Major court victories and shifts in public opinion in recent years set the stage for the CfPPA becoming reality.

Now the real work begins on widespread public education, licensing cannabis businesses, developing regulatory frameworks, and empowering equitable and inclusive participation in the emerging legal cannabis sector. With the CfPPA in place, South Africa is poised to become a continental leader in responsible cannabis reform.

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