The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has issued 42 export authorisations to 10 entities from across the world since 2018.
These entities are from Africa, North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Oceania.
The Authority created an Interim Export/Import Policy that has allowed licencees to export cannabis and its extracts since 2018, due to an absence of export regulations, which is at the final stages of promulgation.
According to Acting CEO of the CLA, Faith Graham, there has been a noted increase in export permit requests by licencees since January.
“What this tells us is that we have been producing cannabis to the standards required of these other jurisdictions and, therefore, there is potential for commercial quantities to be exported in the future once markets are opened,” she said.
Since the start of the year, 19 export permits have been issued.
Miss Graham noted that the quantities for each export varies and the purpose ranges from research to medicinal and scientific.
“The CLA does not determine the quantity or destination of the export as it is the responsibility of each licencee to find their market and ensure they meet the required standards of the importing country,” she added.
Licencees are being encouraged to send their products for testing to the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Scientific Research Council and the University of the West Indies SRC, to test the cannabinoid and terpene profiles and potency of the cannabis that they are producing.
“The CLA plays its part by processing the export requests and we are always working with our partners, such as Jamaica Customs, the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Plant Quarantine Division to see how we can become more efficient with this process,” Miss Graham added.
To date, the CLA has authorised the export of approximately 1,000 kg of cannabis flower, 3 kg of seeds, and more than 40 litres of cannabis oil.
According to Miss Graham, the trading figures within the closed-loop system (among licencees) were US$894,749 for the financial year 2019/2020 and US$627,089.79 for 2020/2021. These figures do not include sales made by licencees to the general public.
The CLA is an agency under the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce that was established in 2015 under the Dangerous Drugs [Amendment] Act, with a specific role to establish and regulate Jamaica’s legal cannabis and hemp industry.