The dope on dagga in SA: legality, potential & potency

24 November 2019 - 00:00 By Sanet Oberholzer
You should be able to roll an average of four joints from 1g of dagga.
You should be able to roll an average of four joints from 1g of dagga.
Image: 123RF/martinak

After the Constitutional Court ruling in September 2018 that decriminalised the use, growing and possession of dagga in private and for personal consumption, there has been much talk about the potent green plant - from recreational enjoyment to medicinal use.

We spoke to some industry players and looked at what the law currently stipulates to get an idea of dagga in numbers:

24 months

The amount of time the Constitutional Court gave parliament to update legislation to reflect its September 2018 ruling.

115g

The maximum amount of dagga that may be argued to be carried for personal use according to South Africa's Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992.

20mg

The maximum amount of CBD (cannabidiol) a product can contain for it to be legally sold as a health supplement without a prescription according to standards published by the health ministry in May. Alternatively, the final processed product should contain no more than 0.0075% of CBD.

The average price for a 10ml bottle of CBD oil is around R800.
The average price for a 10ml bottle of CBD oil is around R800.
Image: 123RF/Tinnakorn Jorruang

0.001%

The amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) a full-spectrum oil containing both CBD and THC is legally allowed to contain if being sold.

1 year

The length of time it takes a dagga plant to go through its entire life cycle when grown naturally. When grown commercially, this life cycle can be shortened to as little as three months to maximise yields.

4

The average number of joints you can roll from 1g of dagga.

1kg

Roughly the amount of dagga plants (leaves, flowers, and small stalks) with an average CBD percentage of 13% that you need to produce 100ml of full-spectrum oil. Once distilled, this can produce around 40ml of pure CBD oil.

R800

The average price for a 10ml bottle of CBD oil (mixed with a carrier oil in order to comply with legal percentages). The price is dependent on the supplier, quality, and concentration of the oil and may be much higher for purer oil and lower for oil mixed with more carrier oil.

$39.1bn (R580bn)

The estimated increase in global legal dagga spending between 2019 and 2024.

Sources: Cannapax, Druid's Garden, Statista 2019

Disclaimer: All quantities provided are estimates. Exact quantities will depend on the profile of individual plants.