In a judgment handed down on 29 August 2022, Judge Slingers of the Western Cape Division of the High Court ruled that operating the Grow Club Model (GCM) – the Private Cannabis Club (PCC) model established and run by The Haze Club (Pty) Ltd – is tantamount to drug-dealing.
A former prosecutor of senior rank within the NPA, the Honourable Judge went slinging.
The cornerstone of the GCM is that the Club cultivates the members’ Cannabis on behalf of the members, adult Cannabis consumers who, for a number of reasons (physical, socio-economic, for example) are not in a position to personally cultivate their own Cannabis. Judge Slingers determined that in cultivating Cannabis on behalf of its members, among other aspects of the GCM, The Haze Club (and the people in its charge) commit the crime of dealing in Cannabis.
The PCC phenomenon was birthed in 2018 when the Constitutional Court decriminalised the private possession, cultivation and personal consumption of Cannabis. While we anxiously await the enactment of robust laws that commercialise the production and distribution of Cannabis for adult-use, PCCs extend employment to thousands of South Africans and contribute to the fiscus.
Do PCCs now go to rack and ruin as a result of Judge Slingers’ damning judgment?
Are there prospects for the judgment to be successfully appealed?
What happens in the meantime?
What happens in the future?
Register here for our webinar on 27 October 2022 where we will unpack the judgment and its impact on the PCC space. And reach out directly for advice or assistance in the PCC space or the Cannabis industry in general.
– Brett Pollack