Cape Town – The first dagga dispensary in South Africa is open for business, with nearly 70 branches operating across the country.
Canapax founder Russell de Beer said he was legally allowed to sell narga as medicine because he was a traditional physician and operated under the Traditional Health Practitioners Act.
Many entrepreneurs jumped at the idea, paying De Beer R25 000 to open their own Canapax stores.
In stores, such as branches in Stellenbosch and Kalk Bay, customers can browse cured bud jars and pay per gram. It contains THC, may be smoked for a psychoactive effect, and is not widely legal for trade – compared to CBD, which is non-psychoactive and legal for trading at certain concentrations.
Canapax customers are not required to have any consultations with a traditional physician, or to indicate any medical condition when purchasing cannabis.
"We have in our hands a medical emergency in South Africa," De Beer said. "I'm trying to allow as many people as possible to cure myself." does not physically do the work of growing themselves.
That's how Canapax happened.
Online reports suggest that several branches were closed by police and the stock was recovered. De Beer said they experienced problems from the police, but only because they did not comply with the directive issued by Saps to guide the officers in removing the decriminalization. says. "They held them in the holding cells for the first day. All proceedings were an abuse of office. Most cases were cleared and cannabis returned."
The price tag for opening of a Canapax branch is R25000 but De Beer said the stores are not franchised and operated by individuals who own one.
"You are buying Canapax intellectual property."
He claimed that these individuals, also referred to as "apprentices", did not operate under the auspice of his stance as a traditional physicians, but rather qualified physicians themselves.
When they signed up to open a Canapax store, they attended a short course with De Beer and then qualified them as traditional healers.
"I have proven that these people have taken a major course in me," he said. "The products sold in the stores are made directly to me."
Attorney Craig Harvey, who has dealt with more than 30 cases of cannabis charges in the last three years, said Canapax is taking advantage of a loophole of the law.  "In terms of the Traders' Tradition Act, the council should set up a registry and register traditional healers," he said.
"Since there is no register, who can claim to be a traditional healer? Anyone can say I have membership from xyz."
Canapax shop model is a taste of what a dagga dispensary in a South Africa where trade is legal. Canapax products go through a quality control check before reaching the shelves.
Charl Henning from Fields of Green for All, an organization leading the legal battle for dagga, said Canapax had the right idea.
"But they are doing it the wrong way. They want to bring cannabis medicine to the country, but their business model is wrong. The real sympathy came to us saying & # 39; We can't sell dagga, how to sell this franchise? & # 39; "
Requests for feedback from Saps as well as the Traditional and Natural Health Alliance have not been answered.