Investigating Small-scale Farmers and Barriers to Entry in Cannabis Cultivation in South Africa




Small-scale farmers, Cannabis, green gold, cannabis cultivation, rural livelihoods, cannabis legalisation, agricultural reform


The legalisation of the prodigal green crop has left the most vulnerable small-scale cannabis farmers high and dry. In 2018 the South African constitutional court legalised the use of cannabis for personal and medical use. The 2018 regulations on cannabis were welcomed and a new lifeline in the eradication of poverty. However, in the haste to join the global urgency in cultivating cannabis, small-scale farmers were left behind and prevented in the bid of the green-gold rush. The cannabis legislation and laws that were created to enable South Africans to participate in the lucrative cannabis market has done the opposite and has crafted barriers of entry. Using a desktop study, this article explores how the 2018 regulations on cannabis cultivation prevent small-scale farmers in participating in the l market in South Africa. The aim of this paper is to highlight the challenges that small-scale cannabis farmers face in South Africa and how their participation in the newly opened market would benefit the communities they live and operate in. The main findings of the research indicate the challenges for small-scale farmers of no support system and transformational issues persist even after the 24 years of democracy in South Africa.


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How to Cite

Dube, Itumeleng, Zamandlovu S Makola, Nonceba Ntoyanto, and Clara Msiza. 2023. “Investigating Small-Scale Farmers and Barriers to Entry in Cannabis Cultivation in South Africa”. Politeia 42 (1):21 pages .



Received 2023-10-13
Accepted 2023-11-10
Published 2023-11-28