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We Talked to Cheeba Africa – About Life And Cannabis

Zootly’s Cannabis Cup 2021 has had some amazing sponsors and partners involved – such as the Cheeba Africa Cannabis Academy!

Cheeba is dedicated to educating South Africans, or anyone around the world, wanting to learn about the cannabis industry.

We think it’s amazing what they’re doing! So much so, that we encourage you to go follow their channels and sign up to a course!

So, rather than beat around the bush, let’s get some answers from CEO and Co-Founder of Cheeba Africa, Trenton Birch.

What inspired you to start Africa’s first cannabis academy?

I have been in education and training for over 10 years and have had a deep passion for the Cannabis industry since I was very young, a little too young.

I had one brief attempt to start a Cannabis company in 2015, but at the time I had two very young kids and the risk was too high.

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When I saw a small light go on in the industry in 2019 I decided it was time to take a leap.

We believe education is the cornerstone of empowerment. It was a natural progression for me to move into Cannabis education.

What courses do you offer and how in depth are they?

The Cheeba Africa Cannabis Academy offers all kinds of courses.

Mainly, these course are online and self study, or you can do an online bundle of courses where students can join virtual classes. Also, we offer contact training.

Our academy covers a wide spectrum of subjects from Commercial Cannabis Cultivation courses or hobbyist grow courses to medical Cannabis and farmer training.

Then, at our physical campuses in Plettenberg Bay and Johannesburg we offer a 3-month, full time course that is endorsed by the University of Limpopo and Edupark.

The 3 month course covers the full spectrum of the Cannabis supply chain, and includes growing Cannabis, food and medical Cannabis, the business of Cannabis, and Sustainability and Wellness.  

So, the course goes really in depth and then we place our students into a one month internship in the industry.  

We also have partnerships with US based Medical Marijuana 411, the global leader in online medical Cannabis education, and Carols Oil who have over 15 years of experience in treating people using Cannabis. 

Are there any areas you’d like to expand your offering?

The Cheeba Africa Cannabis Academy has lots of plans in the pipeline, and we’re all about being collaborative. We encourage anyone who is interested to reach out to us to explore synergies.  

Our academy believes that the only way this industry is going to realise its true potential is for us all to collaborate and work together.  

We have a real opportunity to capitalise on South Africa’s global reputation for Cannabis but if we do not work together we will struggle to capitalise on this.  

“The rising tide lifts all boats”

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What are your top three thoughts on the Private Use of Cannabis Bill? Any off-the-top-of-your-head adjustments?

The bill is rubbish and most of the industry rejects it.  

We have more rights under the 2018 Concourt ruling than we would if the current bill that has been tabled is passed. 

It is poorly conceived and has not considered the South African ecosphere…

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And my third thought is that it is rubbish, sorry it’s as simple as that…

What are your predictions for the Cannabis Industry 2022?

The industry is going to really start to move from early next year.

Sadly this is not going to be driven by legislation but by the people in the industry.  There are a lot of people who have invested a lot of time and money trying to move things forward – with or without legislation – it is only going to keep growing.  

What a lot of people don’t realise is that the industry is already really big.  

Most of this is in the underground market. People have looked to other sectors to make a living in light of COVID-19 and our economic challenges.  

Try telling someone that they cannot sell edibles when what they are doing is just putting food on the table – people aren’t going to fall in line.

The genie is out of the bottle and it is never going back in.

On a practical level I think that the hemp industry is really going to get moving next year. I am particularly excited about this in light of its ability to have such a positive impact on job creation and the global environment. 

This is not an easy industry and a lot of people getting into it just to make money are going to get burned. So, I think we are going to see a lot of growth but sadly a lot of people with the wrong intentions will struggle. 

Do you have a master strategic plan going into the future?

Absolutely but if I tell you I will have to ….. you know what…

The interview ended there as the freelance writer ran out the room with the 2022 program in hand. But due to the fact we’re nice people we’re going to encourage you to follow them to find out more.

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