Cape of Good Dope? City releases vacant land to grow medical cannabis

Cape Town is freeing up vacant land for the cultivation of medicinal marijuana.
Cape Town is freeing up vacant land for the cultivation of medicinal marijuana.
Image: REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Cape Town wants to wade into the "untapped sector" of growing medical cannabis on the outskirts of the city, a decision it described as “pioneering”.

To this end, several parcels of land will be freed up.

“The City of Cape Town’s council decision to release this erven in Atlantis is testament of our commitment to partner with the private sector to explore new opportunities to grow the economy,” the city said on Thursday.

The first medical cannabis plant in the Western Cape will be built on vacant land which lies within the Atlantis Special Economic Zone. The city said it was expected to create 250 jobs and bring in a R638m capital expenditure investment during the construction phase, and R1.5bn during phase two, planned to start in 2023.

This is the second facility planned for the town. The other one is for the cultivation and processing of medicinal cannabis into oils and capsules on a private farm nearby.

Elsewhere in the province, there is a manufacturer of modular cannabis cultivation kits in shipping containers in Somerset West.

“The city’s support for emerging industries in Cape Town, such as the Green Pharma industry, is a demonstration of our commitment to building an opportunity city. These industries hold immense benefits for the city and its residents,” the city said.

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