Thursday 20 February, 2020

CLA to get authority to grant import/export licence for ganja products

Audley Shaw (File photo)

Audley Shaw (File photo)

The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) is perusing the draft document for the body to be able to grant import and export licences for businesses in the medicinal cannabis industry.

According to Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, who was speaking Thursday at the opening of Sensi Medical Cannabis House, a dispensary at the Pulse complex on Trafalgar Road in St Andrew, when completed, the regulations will enable Jamaica to be more attractive to investors in the cannabis industry.

"We now have the draft. It moved between the various agencies, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, the chief counsel and, of course, the CLA itself,” said Shaw.

"But it is now at the CLA for final review and discussion, which upon enactment, will give the CLA jurisdiction or the statutory authority to handle requests for the import and export of inflorescent flower and extracts or resins, otherwise known as oil.

"The Cannabis Licensing Authority has been doing tremendous work towards improving the local landscape for cannabis companies and our attractiveness to investors. To date, the authority has granted 54 licences," he said.

According to Shaw, this is a jump from 11 licences being granted before he became the Minister of Agriculture in March last year, and the CLA is moving quickly to be able to capture a large segment of the markets for cannabis and the various by-products internationally.

He said countries from different areas of the world are seeking the Jamaican product because of the unique strain of cannabis that the island possesses.

"When a licensed agency extracts 50 gallons of oil from marijuana produced in Jamaica, package it in a 50-gallon container and exports it, you know what the value of that 50 gallons of oil is - Ca$15  million.

"If we know what we are doing and do it right, because of our unusual strain and our unusual and God-given range of climatic conditions, we might be able to demand a premium price higher than that. So I am calling that a generic price. We are going to have to find a place for Jamaica because of our uniqueness. That is the intrinsic value that I am talking about," he said.

According to Shaw, he has set a deadline of the end of September for the CLA to get the regulations in place.

Shaw said the Government has also engaged a legal consultant to start a draft for hemp to co-exist with cannabis in Jamaica.

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