'Swazi Gold' dagga farmers fear new SA law could crush them

While subsistence farmers worry about their future, a few African governments are waking up to the potential of a legal cannabis industry
Reuters (South Africa)
Monday, June 10, 2019

Mbuso has been growing cannabis for 14 years. He lives and tends the illicit crop in Swaziland, which is now known officially as Eswatini. Mbuso is just one of scores who depend on high demand from their larger neighbour South Africa for their potent cannabis strain known as "Swazi Gold". They are worried that a recent legal amendment in SA could choke their businesses. In September, South Africa's Constitutional Court decriminalised the use and cultivation of cannabis in private space. But the decision did not legalise its trade or distribution. Florida-based company Profile Solutions Inc has recently received a coveted 10-year licence to produce and sell hemp and medical-grade cannabis in Eswatini. But small-scale farmers are still being prosecuted, detained and having their crops burnt.