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Jamaica’s marijuana industry on pause

Taskforce outlines roadmap for Jamaica to decriminalise marijuana within 120 days

marijuana plantIt will be a while longer before people who want to get involved in marijuana cultivation, transportation, processing, retailing, and research and development legally in Jamaica can do so.

The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), which was expecting to accept applications from Monday, says the process has been delayed with the change in government.

Chairman of the CLA, Dr Andre Gordon, said regulations have to be reviewed and approved by the Minister of Justice before the ganja industry could start operations, and that has not yet been done.

However, he says he expects that will happen before the end of April.

andre gordon

CHAIRMAN OF THE CLA, DR ANDRE GORDON

 

Under the amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, the CLA has been given the power to issue licences, permits and authorizations for the handling of hemp and marijuana for medical, therapeutic or scientific purposes.

And under the regulations for the industry, 11 types of licences across five main categories – cultivation, transportation, processing, retailing, and research and development – will be made available.

The regulations also make special provisions for small farmers, cooperatives, and small-scale processors to participate in the industry.

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The Jamaica government is being urged to enact legislation that would decriminalise marijuana as well as establish a medical marijuana industry.

The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce, which organised a three-day meeting on marijuana decriminalisation together with the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), says the Portia Simpson Miller administration should move within a four month period to decriminalise marijuana.

The taskforce has issued a 12-point roadmap it believes the government should follow. It wants the government to immediately expunge criminal records for all Jamaicans convicted for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

The task force said Jamaica would significantly benefit from a regulated medical marijuana industry.

Jamaica and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders will discuss the issue of decrominalisation of marijuana for medicinal purposes when they meet in Antigua in July for their annual summit.

The leaders during their inter-sessional summit in St. Vincent in March discussed a preliminary report prepared by the CARICOM Secretariat that indicated decriminalising marijuana for medicinal purposes could help boost the region’s economy.

The St. Lucia government has already said it is important for CARICOM to adopt a regional approach to settling the issue of the legislation of marijuana.

“The movement of citizens within the region makes it difficult to deal with the decriminalisation of marijuana on an individual basis. Therefore, I personally believe that this issue must be dealt with on the regional level,” Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has said.

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Comment by Sh Miller on April 10, 2016 at 7:27pm
As I was concerned about, there is a single line stated in this article, concerned about this mainly becoming a corporate thing and the poor man receiving no job opportunities, meager jobs or loss of lands to the corporations. Which is basically the same thing again as been going on all over the world. Just the same old wage slavery declassified, decriminalised and fancified. And with prices decreased, further creating a avenue for crime to sneak in(as wrong always try to sneak into anything good for only financial gain) and then poision and pollute this great achievement and creating heavy restrictions again.
Comment by Roots aka TJ What De Ras on April 9, 2016 at 3:27am
Mervin you are correct. Black man sells it politricks Capitalize on it.
Comment by dao on April 7, 2016 at 10:24am
Legalize now
Comment by Mervin E Yearwood on May 29, 2014 at 1:01pm

I have a sad feelling that the rank and file members of the society will not profit, politicos will just hord it proceeds .

Comment by rad minott on May 29, 2014 at 10:47am
About time they did something to help the poor ppl of Jamaica .this is big
Comment by Mervin E Yearwood on May 27, 2014 at 7:00pm

Wow the day have come in my life time !

Comment by rastafari on May 27, 2014 at 1:07pm

In a very real sense ganja herb is the healing of the nation as it is written and as the RASTAFARIANS have been saying all along...if governments of the world can legalize alcohol and tobacco, two of the most destructive drugs to the human body, which cost billions, if not, millions in medical liability and cause hundreds of thousands of people ill health yearly, then why not legalize ganja without apology seeing that people aren't falling ill with its use as with alcohol and tobacco? The Prime minister of Jamaica should immediately and expediently move to legalize the ganja plant and expunge record of those ever charged for its use and or sale!!! 

Comment by Dexter on May 27, 2014 at 11:40am
I agree with decriminalizing. Just like here in the U.S. they can save money by releasing those locked up for small amounts, they can eliminate crime & it can also boost the economy. Just keep an eye on corrupt politicians that may try to funnel the proceeds into their coffers.

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