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South Africa Looks to Cannabis, Hemp Industry to Create Jobs

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South Africa Looks to Cannabis, Hemp Industry to Create Jobs

South Africa will seek to harness a multibillion dollar cannabis and hemp industry in a bid to create as many 130,000 jobs and lure foreign investment as it grapples with record unemployment.

Africa’s most industrialized nation plans to streamline the “regulatory processes so that the hemp and cannabis sector can thrive like it is in other countries such as Lesotho,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his state-of-the-nation-address to lawmakers in Cape Town on Thursday.

Marijuana has grown increasingly popular as a recreational drug and a medication, while its staid sister hemp is used in clothing, concrete blocks and even car parts. The global medical cannabis market was worth $7.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 15.3% through 2026, according to research firm IMARC Group.

Ramaphosa’s announcement comes almost six months after the agriculture department unveiled a national strategy for the industrialization and commercialization of the cannabis plant, which estimated the size of the local industry at 28-billion-rand ($1.9 billion). It envisaged encouraging the cultivation of hemp and marijuana and increasing the volumes and variety produced for local and export markets within an effective regulatory system.

Monique Vanek

 

Πηγή:bloomberg.com

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