IFP welcomes decision allowing dagga compound to be available without prescription
The Inkatha Freedom Party on Friday welcomed health minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s decision to exclude certain preparations containing cannabidiol (CBD) from being scheduled in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act of 1965.
CBD is a chemical compound of the cannabis plant which is used for medicinal purposes. Unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another compound from cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive.
CBD is touted to be effective for things such as increasing appetite, reducing nausea and vomiting and reducing pain.
In a notice published in the Government Gazette on Thursday which was dated May 15, Motsoaledi excluded preparations containing CBD from the operation of the act.
Motsoaledi said the exemption was effective immediately but for a period not exceeding 12 months from the date of the gazette.
This effectively means that CBD preparations, during that time, are legal to sell and people can buy them without prescription.
"This is a step in the right direction by the ministry of health," IFP chief whip in parliament Narend Singh said. Singh said the World Health Organisation had stated that CBD was not addictive and "not associated with any abuse potential".
Singh said the notice by Motsoaledi meant CBD preparations would now be available for South Africans to use as a part of their general health and wellbeing dietary regimes.
Singh said the sixth parliament would usher in "umbrella" legislation in regards to cannabis, its medical, commercial and recreational private use.
"The IFP will continue to play a pivotal support and advisory role in this regard."
Singh said if the government was serious about "radical economic transformation", then the commercialisation of hemp farming and the industry had to be prioritised.
"Hemp farming and products must be made available to all South Africans. Surely after 23 years of hemp research in South Africa, it’s long overdue that this market is opened by government."