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CANNABIS-GROWING BUSINESS CHALLENGE IN HIGH COURT

A business that "privately" grew and prepared cannabis for clients has approached the Western Cape High Court to have this service declared lawful.


In October last year, police raided premises at a business park in the Cape Town suburb of Ottery, reports the Daily Maverick. The premises were used by The Haze Club (THC), known as a cannabis grow club – a business that leases to clients what it deems to be private space, in an appropriate facility, where it cultivates clients’ cannabis on their behalf. THC effectively ceased operating, because of the police clampdown and has now approached the High Court to try to have the business model it is based on deemed lawful.


THC had operated, because its business model had seemed compatible with a landmark case that culminated in September 2018 with the Constitutional Court effectively ruling it was not illegal for adults to use and cultivate cannabis in private spaces. Court papers in this matter stated: "An example of cultivation of cannabis in a private place is the garden of one’s residence."


A section of THC court papers read: "It may or may not be that it can also be grown inside an enclosure or a room under certain circumstances. It may also be that one may cultivate it in a place other than in one’s garden if that place can be said to be a private place."

The THC wants the court to rule its business model "lawful and consistent with the 2018 judgment". If this is dismissed, it wants parts of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act – relating to adults’ use of cannabis via the grow club model – declared constitutionally invalid.


Respondents include the police, Justice and Trade and Industry Ministers, as well as the NDPP.


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