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Chairman of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), LeVaughn Flynn.​
Photo: JIS Photographer

Chairman of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), LeVaughn Flynn, says Jamaica must better position itself to capitalise on the growing global market for cannabis, as more countries are permitting its use for medicinal, scientific and therapeutic purposes.

“Specifically, we need to get to a place where we are producing more cannabis by-products like nutraceutical pills, tinctures and cannabidiol (CBD) water. We need to develop this sector where we have these food items that can be infused with CBD along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC),” he noted.

Mr. Flynn was addressing the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) webinar, titled ‘Candid Conversations on Cannabis: Jamaica’s Place in the Multibillion-Dollar Growth Industry’ on Wednesday (June 2).

Describing cannabis as an “economic enabler”, Mr. Flynn said that the rapidly changing industry requires the development of updated regulations, policies and a supportive framework to guide investors, licensees, local herbalists and local farmers so they can then start producing these by-products.

“The industry is rapidly evolving and our laws have to keep pace, otherwise we are on the back foot and we are not best positioned to be able to create [and] to maximise the opportunities that exist,” he noted.

Importantly, he said, accreditation is critical in ensuing proper testing for the “cleanliness” and quality of cannabis products.

“By cleanliness, I mean there is no agricultural product residue in it, there are no microbes in it, there are no heavy metals in the product,” he explained.

Mr. Flynn said accreditation will also provide information to determine the percentage of CBD, THC and cannabigerol (CBG) in each plant.

“Once we have a good understanding of the CBD and the terpenoid profile, then that puts the trained medical practitioner in an advantageous position to know how to recommend dosage and medicinal recommendations based on the ailments being treated,” the CLA Chairman pointed out.

“We need to get to that place where we are expanding the market and we are using accreditation of the different processes to strengthen the local market, to strengthen reputation, to strengthen consumer confidence and, very importantly as well, to strengthen confidence of the international market in our local products when we look to expand the export market,” Mr. Flynn added.

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