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South Africa Removes Some CBD Products from Scheduled Drugs List

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Jun 04, 2020   
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South Africa’s health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has amended the country’s drug laws to increase the availability of certain CBD products.

In a notice signed on May 8, Mkhize exempted some full spectrum cannabis-derived products from stricter drug controls, so they can be available to buy over the counter.

CBD in South Africa

In South Africa, CBD’s default scheduling is as a prescription only medication.

But, under the new notice, CBD products can be exempt from prescriptions if marketed for general health or the “relief of minor symptoms,” come in pack sizes containing 600 milligrams of CBD or less, and are limited to a maximum dose of 20 milligrams per day.

Ingestible products derived from raw hemp biomass that contain 0.0075 percent or less of CBD are also permitted.

The new scheduling still requires CBD manufacturers to register as medicines manufacturers and to have the products themselves registered through the South African Health Regulatory Authority.

The new exemptions somewhat replace a temporary law made last May, which permitted the general sale of certain CBD preparations that also contained a maximum daily dose of 20 milligrams of CBD.

This law expired last month; the South African government intended to replace it with more detailed cannabis legislation in April 2020, but progress was stalled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to this, all cannabis-containing products in the country were previously subject to the Medicines and Related Substances Act of 1965, which necessitated a prescription for medicines containing CBD and THC. 


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