Adebola Oyedeji: Empowering South African Women

Adebola Oyedeji
Photo: Uncredited

The Women in Cannabiznis event was hosted by WSU Chemistry senior researcher professor Adebola Oyedeji 

Women involved in the cannabis industry recently gathered in Lusikisiki to be empowered with insight into various crucial elements within the cannabis domain, such as science, legislation and compliance.

The Women in Cannabiznis event hosted WSU Chemistry senior researcher professor Adebola Oyedeji in their panel discussion, who informed the audience on the scientific-based evidence of cannabis, to address health issues, as well as a suitable commodity for local and international trade.

“Cannabis is popular for its medicinal and recreational uses, and this is brought out by the class of compounds that are there. There are warm classes of compounds that are called secondary metabolites which can be classified as terpenoids, flavonoids, steroids and cannabinoids, that are known to have medicinal properties,” said Oyedeji.

Oyedeji further expressed that it is important for people to know that cannabis is not for recreational purposes only, it is more than that, and something needs to be done to remove the stigma around it.

Advocate Ncumisa Sinyanya simplified South African legislation and translation on matters pertaining to cultivation, possession use, processing and commercialisation.

“In South Africa, just like other countries, the use of cannabis has always been deemed illegal. There are two pieces of legislation that were making the use of cannabis illegal, the Drugs Act and the Medicine and Related Substance Act,” said Sinyanya.

Sinyanya further added that in September 2018 the Constitutional Court of South Africa said that the right to privacy allows people above the age of 18 years to use, plant, and carry cannabis in their personal space, for their personal consumption.

She said that this means people can’t go around using cannabis in public spaces, such as work, but only in one’s home or privacy.

“South Africa is the only African country that has made provision to allow cannabis to be used for recreational purposes. The court left the question of the quantity open-ended, for police to use their discretion to decide if the quantity is legal or illegal,” said Sinyanya.

Cannabis and hemp consultant, Noncedo Mbata, addressed the importance of compliance, and the requirements of the permit application process. The Women in Cannabiznis occasion partnered with Walter Sisulu University, Township Cannabis Incubator, Small Enterprise Development Agency, Small Business Development and Ingquza Hill Local Municipality.