In August 2017, the Medicines Control Council (MCC) rescheduled Cannabidiol (CBD) from a schedule 7 to a schedule 4 substance. The rescheduling required South Africans to obtain a doctor’s prescription in order to buy CBD in-store or online. In a landmark judgement on 18 September 2018, the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s highest court effectively decriminalised the cultivation, storage and use of cannabis in the privacy of one’s home, ruling that the prohibition of private cultivation, possession and consumption of the plant at home was unconstitutional.
On 23 May 2019, however, after a legal petition by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), the Department of Health’s Dr Aaron Motsoaledi published an update effectively excluding certain preparations of CBD from the schedule 4 classification. In particular, such preparations should contain a maximum daily dose of 20 mg cannabidiol (CBD). Interestingly, the exemption is effective for a period not exceeding twelve (12) months from the date of signature of the notice. So, unless renewed, the exemption will expire on 23 May 2020.
Click here to download the full Government Gazette document 42477.