'Illegal' and 'not safe': Stern warning on illegal trading of cannabis

05 November 2019 - 06:30
By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Selling and buying dagga and related products remains illegal in SA, police have warned.
Image: iStock/Cheche22 Selling and buying dagga and related products remains illegal in SA, police have warned.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) and the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) have issued a warning against the illegal manufacture of cannabis products.

Sahpra spokesperson Yuven Gounden said these illegal businesses, purporting to be operating legally, are being sold to members of the public as franchises authorised to deal in cannabis and cannabis-related products.

“We have a situation where people are growing and producing cannabis products and pushing them into the public. We are warning against this as not only is it illegal, it’s not safe.

“Some are even smoking it in public spaces [smoking shops]. We want to reiterate that this is not legal,” said Gounden.

The two organisations said the sale of cannabis and related products - via retail outlets, online sites and social media platforms - remain illegal, except where specifically allowed in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act.

"Dealing in and producing cannabis products is illegal. Any person who imports or manufactures a Cannabidiol (CBD) containing medicine must still be in possession of a licence,” said Gounden.

Brig Vishnu Naidoo reiterated that the use of cannabis - including smoking in public or in the presence of children or non-consenting adults - is not allowed.

“The use or possession of cannabis in private, other than by an adult for his or her personal consumption, is also not permitted," said Naidoo.

“CBD-containing preparations for medicinal use are excluded when they contain a maximum daily dose of 20mg of CBD with an accepted low-risk claim or health claims, without referring to any specific disease.”

Naidoo said the police would act not only against businesses that sell cannabis illegally, but also against the customers who buy these products.