Dozens of businesses have converged in South Africa’s capital Pretoria for what local media are reporting is Africa’s first ever cannabis expo. The four-day event showcases “innovative products” and businesses that promote the medicinal, agricultural and lifestyle benefits of marijuana.
The expo, which is also taking place this week in Johannesburg, allows visitors to meet industry experts, learn about cannabis laws around the world, and get free legal advice. However, no cannabis will be allowed to be consumed at the event. Visitors were advised to smoke beforehand or risk possible arrest if found with any marijuana.
Priced at 10,000 Rand ($694:£552), the exhibition fee was criticised by some as “elitist”.
Others, meanwhile said the price was justified.
Tlotlo Tswaelo, owner of the Pot Head Apparel clothing brand, told eNCA: “We wanted to be on this platform knowing what it can do. The exposure from this is something we can really benefit from in the future.”
Expo director Silus Howarth added: “If you’re a small business owner, the price of our stands is not that expensive if you consider…what you can make at the Cannabis Expo and how many people you can engage with.”
In September, South Africa’s constitutional court legalised the use and cultivation of cannabis in private spaces. However, the trade and distribution of marijuana remains illegal.