Bloem hosts Cannabis Expo

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The South African cannabis industry could be worth R27 billion within four years. PHOTO: INDIATIMES.COM

Cannabis business leaders, scientists, technology experts and influencers are preparing to meet at Urth Garden Centre in Bloemfontein for the 2019 Cannabis Expo that starts on Monday 4 November and ends on Wednesday 6 November.

The event comes as the global medical cannabis market expands and increasing numbers of countries legalise its use. Initiated by the Free State Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) and Cannabis Development Council, the expo will do an overview of an industry that is set to be worth about R102 billion by 2023 in Africa alone.

According to the department’s Tebogo Oepeng, the conference will also focus on cannabis industry deliberations, exhibitions of agro-processing and craft manufacturing enterprises.

“It has been estimated that the South African cannabis industry could be worth R27 billion within four years. Tapping into this market requires proper planning and collaboration between both the private and public sectors. The event will comprise of a conference where there will be cannabis industry discussions, as well as exhibitions of enterprises in the cannabis industry,” said Oepeng.

The Cannabis Expo is a follow up to a stakeholder meeting that was held between Free State departments and the Cannabis Development Council of the Eastern Cape and the Free State.

Issues relating to regulation in the industry will form part of the program. “The event will include sharing information to raise awareness, understand relevant regulations, policy framework, explore opportunities and pave the way for the Free State cannabis industry development,” added Oepeng. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele nomaqhawe@mahareng.co.za