Big interest in medicinal cannabis; over 400 applications in
The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has revealed that over 400 applications have been received for the growing of medicinal cannabis plants, but of that number, only 11 licences have so far been issued.
According to Annette Henry, Director of licensing applications at the CLA, 125 of the 432 applications received have so far been conditionally approved, and of that number, 23 have been approved. Eleven of the 25 approved licences have so far been issued.
"Of the 432 applications that we have received, the authority has granted 125 conditional approvals. Of this 125 conditional approvals, we have granted 23 licences. Of the 23 licences granted, we have issued 11 licences," Henry indicated.
She was speaking at a Bureau of Standards National Cannabis Workshop at the Hilton's Rose Hall Hotel and Spa in Montego Bay last week.
"These figures indicate that Jamaicans are interested in this industry and we are taking steps to participate. The CLA remains committed to developing the industry to the world-class level it has the potential to be," said Henry.
The CLA was established in May 2016.
Meanwhile, Henry said the CLA and the Government recognise that the medicinal cannabis industry cannot leave out the local ganja farmers.
Consequently, steps are being taken to roll out an alternative development (AD) programme, geared towards legitimising the illegal ganja farmers.
"So the board of the CLA and also the Cabinet recognise that we cannot move forward with the medicinal industry without taking along with us our small, traditional farmers, who many will say they fought for the success and for where this industry is. So in keeping with that, we are taking steps to develop an alternative programme, and this programme is to transition traditional ganja farmers into the regulated medicinal space. This programme has been approved by Cabinet and is geared to transition the current illicit ganja farmers into the legal regulated industry,” Henry said.
She added that under the alternative development programme, some ganja farmers will be traveling overseas to Bolivia and Morocco, where they will be sharing and learning best practices on how to growth medicinal ganja.