It has been a few months since C3’s temporary business closure in December 2020. Thanks so much for all the messages of support. Please read on for some of the legal developments, and our best idea of how long it could take for the industry to be back on its feet again.
Since the SAPS raided The Haze Club’s growing facilities (see our December 2020 Press Release), The National Directorate of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) proceeded to lay criminal charges against the two individuals arrested in the raid, despite being informed that they were running a cannabis grow club which their lawyers had advised was legal. During the same period, a number of other cannabis growers were raided, making it clear that both the SAPS and NDPP do not deem the Cannabis Grow Club Model to be legal. This is in clear contrast with our legal team’s interpretation of the law as it now stands. This caused C3 to temporarily suspend operations.
Since then, a Declaratory Order has been lodged at the Cape High Court 2 February by The Haze Club. They seek legal clarity from the Court on the legality of the cannabis grow club model and whether it falls within the boundaries of the 2018 Constitutional Court judgement giving adults the right to cultivate, possess and consume cannabis in private. C3 was prevented from bringing our own declaratory court application because nothing negative had happened to our company before we suspended operations. We therefore have to wait until The Haze Club’s court application is heard before we can get legal clarity.
The case will be conducted in two parts. Part A will be heard on the 19th of April 2021 when a stay of the criminal prosecution of the two individuals of the Haze Club will be applied for. This will allow Part B to be heard, which will most likely occur in August or September 2021. Part B of the case focuses on the legality of the Grow Club Model. If the Grow Club Model is deemed legal by the Courts, it brings about growth in the South African cannabis sector, creating economic growth through legitimate means of outsourcing the cultivation of cannabis to professionally-run grow clubs. This will allow accountable and transparent tax-paying businesses to contribute value to the economy and will likely pave the way for further commercial recreational cannabis developments in South Africa.
If the Courts decide that the Grow Club Model is illegal, it will be argued that these sections of the law preventing the Grow Club Model from being legal are unconstitutional and therefore invalid.
We at C3 believe that adults should have a legal and safe manner in which they can obtain high-quality cannabis for private consumption, should they be unwilling or unable to grow their own cannabis plants. The current standing of the law makes it difficult for people to obtain legal quality cannabis, which only reinforces the illicit market’s distribution of cannabis to South Africans.
Unil the second part of the case is heard, C3 will remain temporarily closed. We believe that our courts of law will uphold the constitutional rights of all adults in South Africa to have access to cannabis for private possession and consumption, including the legal clarity required for C3 to continue its services of growing, harvesting, curing, storing and delivering cannabis to paying members anywhere in South Africa.
This case will act as a significant factor determining the future of South Africa’s recreational cannabis market, so expect updates from us as the case unfolds.
As a friend of C3, we thank you for your patience. We look forward to the time, hopefully by September 2021, when we can be growing your choice of premium cannabis plant again. In the meantime, we will keep you updated on any developments here and on our social media feeds.