A BRIEF SUMMARY AS TO THE ROLE OF THE CANNABIS AND HEMP ASSOCIATION OF NAMIBIA.
We would like to advocate for the Association to be an Ombudsman of the Namibian Cannabis Industry with all its Stakeholders and we support this request by the fact that our Trustees have the relevant expertise and experience with Cannabis. We will be working alongside the Government in all matters relating to Cannabis and Hemp as the Government does not poses the necessary expertise on the plant. We would like the Association to be a trusted platform for all Cannabis related affairs, be it law,education, or industry creation.
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Our strongest argument being that while people are still holding criminal convictions for non-violent Cannabis offences and serving time in prison, there cannot be a legal Cannabis market where profits are being made. We call for expulsion of all criminal records relating to non-violent cannabis and immediate release of all prisoners serving jail time for non-violent cannabis offences. We feel that prohibition has robbed people of their dignity, lives,destroyed communities, families and therefore social and health equity with repatriations to those previously harmed by prohibition need to be rectified with urgency and as priority.
As the Association we strongly believe that the indigenous and local Namibian Cannabis use and knowledge needs to be acknowledged and honoured and we will support the indigenous communities to have a voice in this industry and engage in this industry and our sentiments are the same for the most vulnerable, marginalised and poor in our communities. We have in our Trust representatives of various indigenous and marginalized communities to make sure their needs and voices are heard and they form part of this industry.
We as the Association feel it is our duty and responsibility to protect the integrity and reputation of the Cannabis plant creating a blueprint for Namibia to set up a sustainable, environmentally friendly cannabis industry that at its core will have people care and Earth care so that our resources will be kept intact for generations to come.
Furthermore, we are setting in place a community focused programme for the most marginalised communities in Namibia to grow Hemp for bricks, paper and use the seeds for the agricultural sector.We have partnered with international and African organisations who have existing successful projects in place that sequester tons of Carbon and revitalise degraded soil with Hemp while creating Hemp houses for the most vulnerable communities to revive and empower these which will equip these communities with the ability to partake in a Namibian Hemp Industry.
We are also working with various NGO's and Community centered projects that are focused on youth empowerment and job creation to set in motion opportunities for skills development, skills transfer and ultimately job creation for the youth of our Country.
To advocate for the legalization of cannabis in Namibia and to be a trusted platform of education on the plant, its potential, and to facilitate the development of the Namibian Cannabis industry providing opportunities and meaningful jobs for everyone with a focus on empowering impoverished rural communities and previously disadvantaged populations.
We stand to benefit from the unprecedented and enormous potential that this plant offers to the human species and to Earth’s environment.
The establishment of the Association is a direct response to the exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination of and against Cannabis users in our Society. We further recognise that in the course and nature of our work, consensus building amongst ourselves, and present and future evidence based knowlege will remain a core principle and guiding light. Our commitment to a democratic ethos, both in our internal workings and our respect for the existence of the different views of others in our communities shall frame our method and approach to our work.
The cannabis plant will rebuild community pride and the ideals of the Namibian constitution, the cornerstone of which is “social justice, our inalienable right to live in a free society and equality before the law”. It will generate a renewed project of people empowerment, restoring the humanity of all people and building an equitable society where people live in peace, dignity and respect for each other and the earth.
The Cannabis and Hemp Association of Namibia envisions a plethora of uses for the Cannabis plant across community and societal life. Cannabis will play a pivotal and important role in the quest to end poverty, greatly contributing thereto by providing nutritious food, healthy durable and energy efficient homes, affordable and effective medicine, work and entrepreneurial opportunities to reduce poverty.
The Association programmes offer opportunities to empower those without access to such in an effort to end privilege and effect redress to enable us to reach our potential as a compassionate people and nation.
Intrinsic to this are the tenets of non-discrimination including the rights of the child, the differently abled, non-racism, ageism, sexual orientation, non-sexism and gender equality addressing the historical patriarchy and emancipation of women in society as part of the birthing a new morality that places the interests of the individual above the interests of the institution. This vision of all the above shall guide the scope and direction of its work.
The proposed Cannabis and Hemp Association of Namibia is an all inclusive self regulating Cannabis industry Association whose duly elected representatives will be associated as a central Cannabis hub to help regulate and control the cannabis industry of Namibia.
The CHAN industry development identified activities will include:
Providing advice on new legislative and regulatory framework for affordable and available adult access to regulated quality Cannabis consistent with African health and safety standards.
Explore institutional arrangements to give fair, equal and equitable opportunity to all who qualify to acquire permits based on merits and requirements as defined by laws and industry specific standards and vetting.
Keeping a central industry database of all participants throughout the value chain.
Protecting the Namibian cannabis industry from being exploited or dominated by foreign corporations as well as domestic monopolistic competition.
Enforcing IP rights and shared benefits to Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) communities to ensure that the cannabis economy is shared equitably among all the people of Namibia, rewarding those that invest knowledge and resources.
Registering and monitoring all concerns to support and protection of all stakeholders.
Ensuring all registered members pay and the relevant tax towards the development of the local cannabis industry for all.
To uplift local communities through job creation, healthcare and education.
To ensure cannabis permit holders adhere to BBBEE criteria as well as any other relevant employment legislation
Research and development towards sustainable models, cultivar development, safety, efficacy and quality
Control studies, commercial exposure, laboratories, compliance, skills and technology transfer.
Skills transfer and Human Capacity Building to ensure that resource poor farmers and IKS communities are given fair opportunity to participate substantially in the emerging cannabis industry. This program will include public awareness campains, controlled commercial trials, training, empowering farmers, finance & SMME support, bulk buying and collective market incentives in the imminent commercialization of cannabis.
Minimizing harms of use especially keeping cannabis out the hands of youth and investing in harm reduction education as well as holistic rehabilitation for the vulnerable.
Intensifying the fight to keep profits out of the hands of organized crime.
Implementing appropriate regulations to minimize the harms associated with cannabis abuse.
Finally, to make Namibia a world class economy through maximum exploration and capitalization of the potential in cannabis as a natural renewable resource used in at least 5 industries i.e.: oil pressing, fiber extraction, medicine extraction, paper, food, packaging, animal feed as well as bedding, bricks and insulation for housing and textiles.