Jamaicans urged to take advantage of economic benefits from marijuana industry
Licenses for the legal cultivation of marijuana will soon be issued to farmers across the island of Jamaica.
This was disclosed by Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell, who has also encouraged Jamaicans to take advantage of economic benefits to be derived from the local marijuana industry.
“In April to May of this year, we will be expanding that facility to enable full commercialisation for those of you who want to get into the thing properly and legally…,” said Paulwell at a function in the southern parish of St . Elizabeth earlier this week.
Licenses have been already been awarded to University of the West Indies (UWI), the University of Technology (UTECH) and a Canadian nutraceutical and pharmaceutical company, to cultivate marijuana locally for research and development, in keeping with provisions outlined in the amended Dangerous Drugs Act.
Last year, Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Anthony Hylton, said Jamaica already has a head start with brand recognition towards establishing a legal cannabis industry.
Speaking at the Swept Away Resort in Negril on Saturday, November 14, on the final day of a Beckley Foundation two-day conference on Jamaica’s Cannabis Reforms, the Minister said that no country has “a greater opportunity than we here in Jamaica to leverage the country brand association with marijuana.”
He added that the cannabis industry, previously seen as a negative, now holds much growth potential for Jamaica, with opening markets in the U.S., the Netherlands and Canada, which recently announced plans to legalize the cultivation, sale and recreational use of cannabis.
“The implications are already sending ripples across the world. Indeed, once the cannabis industry fully develops, there exists a clear opportunity for trade in cannabis given Jamaica’s strong brand and long-standing trade partnership with Canada,” the Minister said.