The city of Cape Town has announced that it has freed vacant land within the Western Cape’s Atlantis Special Economic Zone for the production of medical cannabis.
“This positive move by the City gives us the opportunity to unlock the economic benefits with the resultant job creation opportunities that this emerging industry will present,” said James Vos, the mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management.
This approval comes after a South African top court ruled in favour of the private use of marijuana further legalising its growth and consumption in September of 2018. While delivering the judgement, South Africa’s deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo termed the law banning marijuana use in private by adults as “unconstitutional and invalid.”
The legalisation of Marijuana use has opened up investment opportunities as Cape Town is set to host the country’s first medicinal cannabis plant, producing medical cannabis, cannabis oil and capsules.
The facility to be set up is expected to provide employment opportunities for 250 people and bring in USD 42 Mn capital expenditure investment during the construction of the first phase. In the second phase which will be completed in 2023, a further USD 99 Mn will be invested.
“The City of Cape Town’s decision to release this even in Atlantis is a testament of our commitment to partner with the private sector to explore new opportunities to grow the economy,” said Vos.
Vos pointed out that he together with other industry players have been pursuing this “untapped economic potential to see how we can inject investment in Cape Town”.
South Africa joins 30 more countries that have legalized the therapeutic use of cannabis extracts and it is estimated that at least a dozen more will do so in the few coming years.
The burgeoning Cannabis industry is currently worth USD 150 Bn with an estimated growth rate of 16 percent per year and is expected to grow further in the next few years.
Featured Image Courtesy: Wired UK
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