Cannabis Expo will happen in December, but don’t expect to light at the event- organisers

Pretoria- You might think that the first ever Cannabis Expo to take place in South Africa, at Time Square, Menlyn in Pretoria, from December 13 to 16, will be a scenes of clouds of smoke, visitors buying recreational weed, but orgainsers say this will not be the case.

The expo organisers said visitors will not be allowed to light or buy recreational weed, the expo will move to Cape Town and Durban in April and June 2019 respectively.

Expos co-founder Silas Howarth, said the cannabis industry is serious business but the items on sale, as well as the exhibits, will be strictly legal.

What will be showcased is a wide range of hemp-made products to medicinal ones and bigger commercial enterprises.

According to Grand Review Research, worldwide, legal marijuana industry is expected to reach $146.4bn by 2025.

“Legal marijuana has started gaining traction worldwide due to very high demand among consumers and increasing legalisation of recreational or medical marijuana in various countries. Additionally, high public and private investment for research and the development of safer forms of ingesting marijuana, such as tinctures, oils, vapes and other edibles, are expected to positively reinforce market growth,” the research firm said.

“You won’t be able to buy recreational cannabis. It’s a public exhibition, so it’s not a private space and the law is very clear about the use of cannabis in public. Smoking at the expo won’t be allowed,” Howarth said.

The expo will also feature different growing techniques, as well as international and local experts who will explain the legalities of using the plant in its various forms.

“It has been a bit tricky figuring out exactly what can and can’t be done [at the expo], but at the same time that’s the nature of where we are as a country. The new ruling hasn’t exactly been tested. We are making sure that we are representing the legal aspects of the industry. Anyone trading there is exhibiting goods that can legally be traded.

“The change in the law is a step in the right direction, but there’s still that uncertainty and we’re trying to educate people as well,” Howarth said.

However, Dr Shaquir Salduker of the Psychiatry Management Group has said there is not enough research to justify the loosening laws on the consumption of marijuana.

“Although there are some studies indicating that cannabis is as effective as existing painkillers and does have some effect on nausea, appetite stimulation, anxiety and seizures, there is to date no landmark studies into its role in pain management that would make it a revolutionary agent in pain control. The legislation change should be scientific not socially driven. We simply don’t have enough research to understand the complexity of the substance to say it’s safe to use in the long term,” Salduker said.

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