New SAPS directive – a light in the Cannabis tunnel

Following the Cannabis and Hemp Action Lab Phakisa held by the Presidency at the end of June 2023, the Cannabis community has anxiously waited for the new SAPS Directive. Many dubious and click-bait headlines later, the new SAPS Directive was issued by the National Commissioner on 23 August 2023 (the Directive). In less than a week since its public deliverance, the Directive has arguably released more collective trauma in the Cannabis community than any other ‘development’ in almost exactly 5 years, when the Constitutional Court handed down the Prince Privacy Judgment

‘Development’, because the principles and commands of the concise document, perhaps most notably that— 

“No arrests are to be made for personal and private cultivation and/or or possession of cannabis, which activities are not criminal”,  

are natural, obvious and direct implications of the Prince Privacy Judgment that have become the war-cries and liberation songs of a community that has continued to suffer unconstitutional, apartheid-style oppression by many SAPS members.   

And while it is true that the Directive is not a legal development like a piece of legislation (e.g. the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill once it is eventually enacted by Parliament as the Cannabis for Private Purposes Act), it does constitute a clear reminder and stern warning to all SAPS members of the constitutional private-use rights held by the Cannabis community. So, yes, it feels a lot like healing; like a fresh and generous smear of Cannabis-infused Vicks cream on the community chest.  

The Directive acknowledges SAPS’ “confusion as to the legal position in relation to cannabis”. It discusses the Privacy Judgment and how it constitutionally impacted the text of the Drugs and Drugs Trafficking Act to clearly differentiate between private-use and commercialisation of Cannabis. After the current pharmaceutical licensing and industrial (hemp) permit arrangements are outlined, the Directive clarifies a few critical issues, specifically in relation to the conduct of Cannabis arrests by SAPS members. 

We discuss the main points, but feel encouraged to read the Directive in full:  

1. Quantity is not an indicator of dealing 

The Directive recognises that:  

“There is currently no legislation that prescribes what quantities of cannabis may be possessed or cultivated in order to comply with the Privacy judgement”, 

admits that: 

“There is also no legislation that allows for a presumption of dealing where cannabis quantities above a certain threshold is found in the possession of a person”,  

and, therefore, commands that: 

“the amount of cannabis found in the possession of a person for private consumption, in private or for cultivation cannot be used by a member to presume that the person is in fact dealing in cannabis.” 

The number of plants or quantity of cannabis found in possession of a person has always played a key role in the arrest process, and statements issued by the SAPS on cannabis arrests almost always and somewhat proudly mention the quantities involved. The Directive highlights the difficulty in defining “personal consumption” – indeed, one person may consume one plant per year recreationally, while another requires several plants to make extracts and medicines for personal use.  

This statement in the Directive will disarm many officers who use this unscientific and invalid criteria as their sole discretion for effecting an arrest. 

2. SAPS must treat suspects with dignity – or face the consequences

It is no secret that SAPS have been unnecessarily harsh towards the Cannabis community in its enforcement of the law. The Directive reminds SAPS members that suspects of Cannabis related offenses, “like any other suspect”, must be treated with dignity and in line with the Bill of Rights.  

Additionally, they are requested to consider “all lawful means of securing the accused’s attendance at trial…before resorting to arrest and detention”, meaning that even if a person is found to be involved in criminal activity, they do not need to be arrested and detained. Instead, the SAPS member should take down the suspect’s information for purpose of issuing a summons to be duly served, as per regular criminal procedure.  

The Directive underlines the SAPS’ civil liability risk associated with unlawful arrest and detention of suspects. Magisterial court hallways are filled with accused and charged individuals who attend several court dates (or sometimes none) only to have their case struck off the roll. To these ends, the Directive advises SAPS members to liaise with the prosecuting authority and obtain a search and seizure warrant before such activities are carried out.  

It also consoling that the Directive reprimands SAPS members; forbidding them from making arrests either: 

  • “for personal and private cultivation and/or or possession of cannabis, which activities are not criminal”; or 
  • “merely for the reason to achieve pre-determined targets and without assurance that there is indeed a crime that will be enrolled and prosecuted by the National Prosecuting Authority.” 

These reprimands coming as bombshell admissions that SAPS indeed persists in unlawful arrests for private Cannabis use and encourages a quota system for arrests, even since the Prince Privacy Judgment was handed down. 

3. SAPS’s definition of “private space”

The Directive lastly sheds some light on the concept of “private space”, for example, that— 

  • a private space does not need to have a physical barrier preventing access; 
  • a person does not need to own the space they claim as their private space;  
  • a private space may include being concealed from view when carried in public – for example, the inside of a car is considered a private space, the inside of one’s pants is another obvious example. 

4. Traditional healers possess cannabis privately

Significantly, the Directive addresses traditional, cultural, and religious healers, who use Cannabis as part of their practice. It is expressly acknowledged that cannabis dispensed by a “traditional, cultural or religious healer in small quantities is privately and personally possessed”. While none of these terms are defined, which we suspect will introduce a measure of confusion, traditional healers are not considered part of the commercial trade of cannabis, but rather as an expression of private cannabis. 

5. Cannabis can be privately co-owned

Lastly, in a very open-ended provision, the Directive states that “more than one person may have ownership rights to personal and private cannabis.” We feel that this would naturally include the co-ownership of Cannabis by consenting adults who share a private space such as a home. It seems that the SAPS are indicating some sort of understanding that private ownership does not equate to individual ownership. However, if one slightly extends this selfsame logic, we feel that this statement bootstraps the argument for Private Cannabis Clubs, especially the one underpinning Harambe Solutions’ Shared/Collective Model, which leverages both the right to privacy (as per the Privacy Judgment) and its constitutional cousin in the Bill of Rights, the right to freedom of association. This model justifies the safe & responsible, non-profit & collective exercise by members of a Cannabis community of their rights to privately cultivate and consume Cannabis.

This Directive concludes with both an instruction that it “must be brought to the attention of all [SAPS] members … against their signature and filed as proof that such members familiarised themselves with [its] content”, and a stern warning that “[f]ailure of a member to comply […] may result in disciplinary steps.” 

While the community (perhaps for the first time actually begins to heal), we still wait for robust laws that liberate the Plant— 

– delivering the final death knell to the prohibitionist era of Cannabis in South Africa, 

– creating an enabling and inclusive commercial legal and regulatory framework in the adult-use and other Cannabis markets, 

and, thereby, its People. 

Contact us at to explore the impact of this Directive on your plans to enter or deepen participation in the Cannabis market, whether as a Private Cannabis Club, or more broadly.  

Two Models for the Private Cannabis Club

The phenomena of the Private Cannabis Club (PCC) and its subsequent models have received much attention from the South African Cannabis community since its appearance after the Privacy Judgement of 2018. The milestone judgement allows the possession, cultivation and consumption of Cannabis in a private place, for personal consumption. It is considered the first victory in a series of battles ahead for the full legalisation of Cannabis.

The Judgement leads to some practical problems, though. It seems the only way one can practice this new-found right is to cultivate your own Cannabis. Some hurdles come to mind, such as having a limited space or no garden space at all, not having the time, resources or knowledge to cultivate the plant or simply not having the desire to cultivate anything, let alone Cannabis. These reasons cannot prevent a person from practicing their right to consume Cannabis, as this will amount to being unconstitutional. PCCs followed shortly after the Privacy Judgement as the Cannabis community’s attempt to bridge the gap that the aforementioned problems inevitably leave.

In the absence of clear legislation that speak specifically to the PCC’s existence and operation, many interpretations of the Privacy Judgement have been made and use as the basis of the formation of PCCs. We’ve done extensive research on the topic in our own attempt of identifying appropriate and argumentative guidelines that a PCC – any PCC – can use in its operation. We’ve documented our findings in the Private Cannabis Club – Framework Manual for Set-up and Management, which we’ve made available to you. In the Manual, we lay out the two possible Private Cannabis Club models that we’ve designed and discuss the specifics at length.

Personal / Private Model

The Personal / Private Model is true to the Privacy Judgement and relies only on that piece of legislation to justify its existence. Under this Private Cannabis Club model, the PCC cultivates all of the Cannabis that belongs to its members at its private premises. Members enter into a contractual agreement with the PCC to authorise the PCC to cultivate Cannabis on their behalf. It’s important to note that the Cannabis must at all times belong to the member, even though it is kept at the PCC’s premises and cultivated by the PCC’s employees. This means that the member must either provide their own genetics to the PCC for the purposes of cultivation, or the PCC may donate, completely free of charge, a clone or seed to a member, which must then be tagged accordingly and throughout its life cycle, to allow for track and traceability proving ownership.

The PCC would then allocate a specific section of its cultivation area to the member where their plant is kept and cultivated by the PCC. The information relating to the specific space the member’s plant occupies, along with the plant’s tagging details, must be included in the contractual agreement that the two parties would sign. The Lease and Horticultural Services Agreements would include details such as:

  • the particulars of the premises where the member’s crop is cultivated;
  • the particulars of the cultivation services provided to the member;
  • the cultivation participation required from the member;
  • the cultivation and rental fees charged by the PPC to the member; and
  • details relating to the member’s selected mode of cultivation (for e.g. indoor vs outdoor), chosen strain, etc.

Once the member’s Cannabis has been harvested, dried, trimmed and cured, the PCC may notify the member for collection purposes.

PCC Obligations towards the Member

These are a few of the obligations the PCC may have towards its members:

  • Providing the member with access to the PCC and its services;
  • Cultivating Cannabis in line with the standards reflected in the Horticultural Services Agreement;
  • Ensuring and being able to prove that the Cannabis is owned by the member via adequate tagging and tracing methods;
  • Ensuring that the crop is secure, and that access is strictly limited to the PCC’s cultivating employees and members.

Member Obligations toward the PCC

In turn, the member may have the following obligations, among others for sure, towards the PCC:

  • Payment of fees according to the Agreements signed between the parties;
  • Adhering to the PCCs rules of operation and indemnifying the PCC against damages resulting from any breaches of PCC rules and all applicable criminal and other laws;
  • Participating in the cultivation of their crop according to the Horticultural Services Agreement.

The PPM is arguably an easier Private Cannabis Club model to defend legally because it is based solely on the right to privacy, making it more straightforwardly about the exercise by individuals of their privacy-based Cannabis rights.

Shared / Collective Model

The Shared / Collective Model also relies on the Privacy Judgement, but also leans on the right to freedom of association, as per section 18 of South Africa’s Constitution. This model resembles the ENCOD model found in Spain and the argument goes that simply because cultivation and consumption must be done in private, doesn’t mean it has to be done alone. Therefore, this Private Cannabis Club model is much more suited to the Cannabis community and their eagerness to come together and socialise, as it encourages the coming together, sharing of knowledge and activities, and achieving a common purpose – while exercising their right to consume Cannabis personally and privately. Although there certainly is logic to the argument, the question remains whether the Privacy Judgment’s reference to personal and private cultivation and consumption preclude shared or collective cultivation and consumption in private.

Due to the collective ownership of crops and Cannabis – meaning all Cannabis cultivated at the PCC belongs to and is shared by all members of the PCC – there is less emphasis on tracking and tracing requirements in this model. The PCC would require that members participate in the cultivation of their crop or alternatively, contribute to the PCC to cover their share of expenses in one of the following ways:

  • members may participate in cultivation activities (not for remuneration, but rather to contribute towards their share of Cannabis); or
  • members may contribute various resources to the PCC (grow medium, seeds or clones, nutrients, money, etc.). Members are not to be compensated for participation or contributions; these are done in order to cover the member’s share of the expenses related to the PCC.

In order to formalise the relationship, it’s recommended that PCC enter into Membership Agreements with its members, to set out the member’s involvement, requirements and access to the PCC premises – clubhouse and services. The Membership Agreement could also contain the Member Needs Assessment, a synopsis of the member’s consumption habits to enable the PCC to plan its supply. Alternatively, the PCC might endorse a maximum plant-to-member ratio. Additionally, the Membership Agreement must clearly state the obligations owed by the two parties, to each other, some of which I mention below.

PCC Obligations to the Member

Via the SCM, the PCC might owe the following, among other, obligations to the member:

  • Providing the member with access to the PCC and its services;
  • Careful management of members’ contributions towards the cultivation operation;
  • Managing the cultivation process through the provision of space, resources, planning procedures, etc.
  • Facilitating a (physical and/or virtual) environment where Cannabis enthusiasts can come together and share experiences and knowledge.

Member Obligations to the PCC

In turn, the member may have the following obligations to the PCC:

  • Payment of fees / Submission of contributions according to the Membership Agreements;
  • Adhering to the PCCs rules of operation and indemnifying the PCC against damages resulting from any breaches of PCC rules and all applicable criminal and other laws;
  • accurately disclosing their consumption habits to enable the PCC to plan its supply accordingly;
  • abiding by the PCC’s rules / code of conduct.

Although there are many creative ways in which PCCs may argue in favour of their existence, it’s essential to remember that PCCs are not yet legal, nor illegal – the SA government has not had a chance to decide on the legal status of the concept of a PCC. Until solid legislation relating to PCCs are passed, there is still much risk attached to operating PCCs and careful consideration should be done before a Private Cannabis Club model is implemented and utilised.

Commercial Recreational Cannabis and Harms Reduction

At the heart of the new commercial clause in the latest version of the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill, lies harm reduction. This topic has been discussed at previous sittings of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, as well as throughout submissions made by the public in answer to the call for public comment.

What is Harm Reduction?

Harm reduction means exactly what it says – it is activities or services provided to reduce the harms associated with using a particular substance. It is based in the principle of respecting the rights of individuals who choose to use a substance and from that point of acceptance, try to improve the conditions under which the substance use takes place. Examples of harm reduction programmes include providing drug consumption rooms, needle and syringe programmes, overdose prevention and reversal, psychosocial support, etc. These types of approaches have been tested internationally and found to be based on real evidence, cost-effective and positively impacting individual and community health.

If one looks at the newest draft of the commercialisation clause in the Bill, all of the suggested factors to be considered relate to harm reduction:

Subclause 3:

Without limiting the scope of national legislation contemplated in subsection 2, to authorise and regulate commercial activities in regards of recreational Cannabis, due consideration should be given to –

  • harm reduction;
  • demand reduction;
  • public education and awareness campaigns in respect of the harms associated with recreational Cannabis;
  • prevention of persons under 18 to access recreational Cannabis;
  • prohibition of advertising or promotion of recreational Cannabis; and
  • population level monitoring of use and associated harms of recreational Cannabis.

Demand Reduction

Reducing the demand for Cannabis – specifically here, recreational Cannabis – speaks almost directly to harm reduction. Demand reduction is usually one of the aims of legalisation of an illicit substance – the fact that a substance previously only obtainable on the so-called “black market”, is made readily available to most people assists in reducing the demand for that particular substance. Legally cultivated Cannabis would have been produced according to good practice standards and be subjected to testing and analysis to identify any harmful trace elements, making it a safer option in comparison with illicit Cannabis.

Public education and awareness campaigns in respect of the harms associated with recreational Cannabis

This consideration speaks directly to harm reduction through education and awareness. Private Cannabis Clubs are a great vehicle to mobilise this initiative and from the study Harm reduction and cannabis social clubs: Exploring their true potential, by Obradors-Pineda, A; Bouso, J; Parés-Franquero, O; and Romani, J, it can be seen that the concept has somewhat found a home in European Cannabis Social Clubs:

Prevention of persons under 18 to access recreational Cannabis

Now that legislation surrounding Cannabis is taking a less restrictive turn, proper research can be conducted to determine the influence of Cannabis on a developing adolescent brain. Initial studies suggest that frequent Cannabis use may impact “academic functioning, as well as social and occupational functioning extending into later life”. In light of the Portfolio Committee’s instruction to treat Cannabis like tobacco and alcohol when designing its commercial regulation, restricting availability of Cannabis by persons younger than 18 is a sensible step towards responsible and controlled use of recreational Cannabis.

Prohibition of advertising or promotion of recreational Cannabis

As just mentioned, the Portfolio Committee is to approach recreational Cannabis in the same light as alcohol and tobacco – products which have restrictions on advertising and promotion. These restrictions relate directly to harm reduction and is present in most legal substances that are considered to have a harmful effect. Prohibition on advertising also extends to many medical products, meaning that the idea is to avoid encouraging the use of products with a pharmacological or psychoactive effect.

Population level monitoring of use and associated harms of recreational Cannabis

Population monitoring has been taking place for decades in different shapes and forms and for different reasons. In our progressive era, it is safe to say that data is king and this data includes the usage and habits of recreational Cannabis consumers. One of the purposes for gathering this data is to be able to pinpoint any significant harms that may increase once the commercial recreational market is on its legs. Further programmes and initiatives may then be developed to address the identified harm.

There are two conclusions to be drawn from the points discussed above. The first is that the commercial clause at its core, is about respecting our right to consume Cannabis, while ensuring that it is done safely. The second is that Private Cannabis Clubs, if operated correctly, could be the most powerful tool to contribute towards harm reduction – in fact, we include it in our Private Cannabis Club: Framework Manual for Set-Up and Management as an integral component in the Membership Experience.

Quality Management Systems for Cannabis Cultivation Facilities

Cannabis cultivation facilities require large scale cultivation of Cannabis plants, guided by rigorous and methodical Quality Management Systems. Due to increase in these facilities worldwide, Quality Assurance Bodies have adapted existing Quality Management Systems to allow for the inclusion of activities undertaken by a Cannabis cultivation facility. Specifically speaking to cultivation, there are two popular standards to follow to plan and execute the activities of the farm, entitled Global Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices.

Global Good Agricultural Practices (GlobalG.A.P.)

Any agricultural farm can get their produce certified under GlobalG.A.P. if their processes, facility, human resources and hygiene protocols are in place. GLOBALG.A.P. refers to a brand of smart farm assurance solutions, based in Germany with the intent to promote food safety worldwide. Development of Good Agricultural Practice guidelines is tasked to FoodPLUS GmbH and is approached with cooperation from producers, retailers and other relevant stakeholders across the food industry. GLOBALG.A.P. offers you one core product: GLOBALG.A.P. Certification, available for 3 scopes of production: Crops, Livestock, Aquaculture and consisting of a total of more than 40 standards.

The processes included in the scope of a GlobalG.A.P. system speak specifically to the cultivation of Cannabis or Hemp and generally do not include processing and extraction. These processes would include, among others, the following:

  • Germination / Propagation
  • Transplanting
  • Clone and Mother plant maintenance
  • Vegetation
  • Flowering
  • Harvesting
  • Drying
  • Feeding
  • Track and traceability
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Hygiene and Cleaning
  • Workers’ Health, Safety & Welfare
  • Environmental Management

Due to increasing demand, GlobalG.A.P. now includes certification specifically aimed at Cannabis and across four key areas: the production and consumption of cannabidiol (CBD); the use of recreational Cannabis; medicinal Cannabis; and the use of Cannabis for the production of seed and fibers that can be used for applications from bioplastics to textiles to construction materials. There are certified auditing bodies in South Africa that now include this specification as part of its auditing services.

Good Manufacturing Practices

Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) describes a set of principles and procedures that, when followed, ensure that medicines and related substances are of high quality, safety and efficacy. SAHPRA is a participating authority of the Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme (jointly known as PIC/S). PIC/S aims to develop international standards between countries and pharmaceutical inspection authorities, to provide harmonised and constructive co-operation in the field of GMP. PIC/S affiliation is subject to initial and periodic assessment of the participating authority to ensure that it has equivalent legislation, regulatory and enforcement procedures and inspection capacity.

Having one’s facility GMP certified doesn’t only grant access to SAHPRA’s licensing for medicinal purposes, but also testifies about the facility’s control over its procedures and operational activities. The scope of the GMP standards speaks more specifically to sound harvesting or gathering processes, drying, primary processing, extraction and manufacturing of medicinal Cannabis products.

The main processes addressed in GMP cultivation facilities include:

  • Quality Assurance
  • Legal Compliance
  • Cultivation
  • Facility & Product Handling
  • Maintenance
  • Security
  • Inventory Management

With a commercial recreational Cannabis industry on the cards for South Africa in the near future, the value and application of both GlobalG.A.P. and GMP standards and systems will soon to be seen. One can only hope that the value and methodical control of such a system can benefit the Cannabis industry.

The Haze Club Judgment Explained

When the news of the Haze Club Judgment came through at the end of August, it felt like the entire Cannabis industry was shaken, as could be seen from the resulting Cannabis marches across the country. Judge Slingers, the judge presiding over the application for a declaratory order, had found that The Haze Club’s application for a declaratory order was not sufficient to make a case and therefore dismissed the application.

If you haven’t read the Haze Club Judgment yet, you can read it here:

The application for the declaratory order was based on two requests:

  • First Relief: That the Grow Club Model is in line with the Privacy Judgment of 2018;
  • Alternative Relief: The current legislation relating to Cannabis use unjustifiably limited rights to trade, profession, security and dignity of the person

In this discussion we’ll only be looking at the First Relief and Judge Slingers’ reasons for dismissing the application relating thereto.

After careful deliberation, Judge Slingers stated the following motivations for the Grow Club Model’s malignment with the Privacy Judgment:

1. The Grow Club Model is a socialised space away from the inviolable core of the inner sanctum of private space, limiting the right of privacy, through elements such as co-ownership

Judge Slingers discussed the Privacy Judgment and lingered on the context within which it was supposed to be interpreted. She reiterated the Constitutional Court’s statement reflection that a reasonable expectation to privacy consists of two inquiries – there must firstly be a subjective expectation of privacy, and secondly, the expectation must be recognised as reasonable by society. The point she makes is that the privacy relating to the inner sanctum – one’s home or family life – is more likely to be accepted and respected by society than privacy in a commercial or transactional setting. The Grow Club Model operates outside of the inner sanctum and in the social dimension, where the right to privacy is subject to limitation. She aptly summarises this by saying “You cannot claim the right to be left alone in circumstances where you actively associate with others.”

This way of thought is resonant throughout all the other additional reasons she provided, and actually summarises all of her thought patterns.

2. The entire cultivation process does not occur within a private space

Although members are allocated a private space where their plant is cultivated, some areas were used as communal areas, such as drying and trimming areas. The Minister of Police, in their responding affidavit, also referred to shared equipment and other resources and this informed Judge Slingers’s observation that not all spaces and resources are private, therefore the entire process is not a private one.

3. The member does not have unrestricted / unregulated access to his/her private space

The Haze Club did not allow their members to access the premises without prior arrangement. Judge Slingers found this problematic, because if one’s space is private, it means you can access it how and when you want. If you have to make arrangements to access your private space, the space is not private, it is merely space.

4. Any transportation of Cannabis is still illegal

This was a risk that I’ve identified in the Private Cannabis Club Framework Manual for Set-up & Management, and knew would be a problem in most Private Clubs. The collection and delivery of Cannabis is still illegal as per the Drugs & Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992. When The Haze Club’s members shipped them propagation material, they were in contravention of the Drugs Act. When the Haze Club shipped members’ Cannabis to them, they also did so in contravention of the Drugs Act.

5. Section 4(b) of the Drugs Act was contravened – possession

Judge Slingers found that the activities that the Haze Club partook in when they accepted, stored and controlled members’ plants, were in contravention of the Drugs Act. The Drugs Act defines “possess” as “in relation to a drug, includes to keep or to store the drug, or to have it in custody or under control or supervision“. This regardless of the fact that the Haze Club explicitly acknowledges the Cannabis plants as property of their members.

6. Section 5(b) of the Drugs Act was contravened – dealing

Further, Judge Slingers found that the activities of cloning, cultivation, drying, curing, delivery and even the sub-leasing of space was in contravention of section 5(b) of the Drugs Act, meaning, those activities are considered dealing. Her reasoning behind this was that the Haze Club were doing these activities in relation to another person’s plant (their member). This is the ultimate factor, as she was insistent that the cultivation of personal Cannabis cannot be outsourced.

7. Members do not cultivate their own Cannabis

Finally, the conclusion was made that the member has no hand whatsoever, in the cultivation of their Cannabis and Judge Slingers states: “As the grow club model does not result in the members cultivating Cannabis for their own consumption in a private place, it has not been shown that it is consistent with Prince 3 and therefore, lawful.”

The Haze Club submitted an application for leave to appeal Judge Slingers’ judgment on the 19th of September. We wait to hear if the application is approved and in which Court it will be heard. It is probable that the application will be approved, but the chance exists that it might be denied if there are no reasonable prospects that the appeal would succeed. If leave to appeal is granted, it’s envisaged that it will be heard by the end of next year.

In the meantime, Cannabis clubs all over South Africa reacted in shock and with disapproval to the Haze Club judgment. However, being aware of the weight and meaning of the judgment, some clubs took precautionary measures and closed doors temporarily, or activated interim changes to procedures in an attempt to protect themselves, their staff and their members. Theoretically and possibly for the first time, Cannabis Clubs in South Africa actually had an official statement from the law relating to their existence. Luckily, with the submission of the application for leave to appeal, it means that things are back to normal –  Brett states that ‘in terms of section 18 of the Superior Courts Act, the operation and execution of the Judgment is suspended, pending the decision of the application for leave to appeal and the appeal, itself, assuming that the application for leave to appeal is granted.’

Regardless, it would be prudent to consider Judge Slingers’ comments and test your (current, imaginary or future) Club’s model against them. We believe that our Shared / Collective Model may solve most of these concerns and that with slight adjustments, we could still find a viable path, albeit untested.