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Cannabis in South Africa

Learn all about South African cannabis culture, laws and private cannabis clubs!

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Cannabis Culture in
South Africa

Some of the best landrace cannabis genetics come from South Africa. The most famous strain is Durban Poison, but strains like the very potent (18-20% THC) sativa strain (KwaZulu) Powerplant have also made a name for themselves worldwide. Lesser known landraces from South Africa are Swazi Gold, Pondo Gold and Rooibaard.
It is believed that Arab, Indian and Portuguese traders first brought cannabis to East Africa. In the 10th to 15th century, the use of weed, or dagga as South Africans call it, spread southwards. Especially the indigenous people like the Bantu tribes used it for rituals, but also the Afrikaners who descended from Dutch settlers used cannabis to make tea. In the 17th century, the Dutch East India Company forbade the Cape settlers to consume and cultivate it, but the ban only lasted until 1700! When the Indian hash-smoking workers of the Natal colony brought their customs to the country around 1860, the European authorities became so concerned that they dubbed dagga the harmful herb and banned it in 1870.
At the turn of the millennium, a real activist scene for the legalisation of cannabis developed all over the country, but especially in Cape Town. For example, the annual Cannabis March has been taking place in Cape Town since 2000, and in 2018 the 420 event already reached more than 6000 participants. In the last 4 years, more and more 420 cafes, CBD restaurants, 420 events and of course private cannabis clubs have sprung up all over the country, especially in the regions around Johannesburg and Cape Town. In the meantime, there are even several cannabis cups in the country where clubs, farms and growers can compete.
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Cannabis laws in South Africa

South Africa has some of the most relaxed laws in the world when it comes to weed. In 2017, medical cannabis was legalised, and since then the medical cannabis industry for the world market has flourished in South Africa. Then, just a year later, cannabis was decriminalised across South Africa for private recreational use. Since then, private consumption, possession and cultivation of cannabis has been allowed. As in Spain, no real maximum quantities are prescribed, and community cultivation or consumption is not ruled out, more and more cannabis clubs based on the Spanish model have been established in South Africa in recent years. Selling weed, however, remains illegal, and anyone caught selling large quantities can expect a prison sentence of up to 25 years, although these are very rarely handed down. Even before 2018, the police did not really focus on consumers or small dealers, but rather on so-called mules who smuggle cannabis in large quantities to other countries.

Cannabis Clubs in South Africa 

The first cannabis clubs were founded directly after the new law came into force in 2018. In Cape Town, Johannesburg and along the Garden Route, a real cannabis club scene emerged very quickly. Today, South Africa has some of the most innovative clubs in the world. A club with its own pizzaria, a club with a wolf breeding station, a cannabis academy with an outdoor cannabis farm and a private cannabis club are just some of the highlights on our DAGGA SAFARIS. In and of itself, there is not much difference in administration between the cannabis clubs in South Africa and Spain, the biggest difference may even be the name. Spaniards officially call their clubs Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC), whereas South Africans call their clubs Private Cannabis Clubs (PCC).
This is because most cannabis clubs in South Africa are also run according to the guidelines of ENCOD (The European Coalition for a Just and Effective Drug Policy). According to ENCOD, a cannabis club can legally operate in any country in the world where cannabis cultivation for personal use has been decriminalised. This is because these clubs are associations in which adults can exercise their constitutional right to cultivate, consume, possess and exchange cannabis in private! The ENCOD guidelines are strictly adhered to and the clubs always act in the interest of the community, there is full transparency in the clubs and demand determines supply. Of course, these are not all, but only a small part of the guidelines to which most clubs adhere!

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