Sunday 15 December, 2019

Shaw not in a fight with US regulations hurting local cannabis sector

Audley Shaw

Audley Shaw

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, has expressed his unwillingness to employ illegitimate means to bypass the American government’s banking arrangements which is impeding Jamaica from taking maximum advantage of the lucrative medical cannabis industry.

Speaking with reporters in Montego Bay earlier this week, Shaw said his piece.

"As minister, what I cannot do is to speak either publicly or privately about finding ways to operate illegally around the banking system. Anybody asking me to do that, I am not going to do that! Because I am a former finance minister and I am a Government minister, I can't support that. So what I have to do is go and lobby and lobby aggressively," he said.

He argued that First World countries have seemingly circumvented their way around the banking arrangements to avoid de-risking.

"The big countries have apparently found a way around it. Countries like Canada, European countries, others, they seem to have found their way around it. Even states of the United States seem to have found their way around it," he suggested.

He argued that it is unfair for the American government to be using their banking arrangements to stifle the growth of the local cannabis industry.

"Jamaica still has a foremost position globally in the brand. So what is holding us back now from taking maximum advantage of that branding is the banking arrangements. Because all of our banks are linked to the United States, everyone has to go through New York. That's our issue," Shaw stated.

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