JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government has approved proposals for amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, as it moves to establish medicinal ganja and industrial hemp industries, where the cultivation and other activities involved in the production and supply of the plants will be legal under a controlled regime.
  • Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, who made the announcement at a special press briefing today (September 30), at the Office of the Prime Minister, said while the amended law will observe Jamaica’s anti-narcotics obligations, the industries will operate under licence.
  • A Licensing Authority is to be established to govern the licensing processes for participation in the medicinal ganja industry, while the industrial hemp industry will be similarly subject to a licensing system.

The Government has approved proposals for amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, as it moves to establish medicinal ganja and industrial hemp industries, where the cultivation and other activities involved in the production and supply of the plants will be legal under a controlled regime.

Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, who made the announcement at a special press briefing on Tuesday, September 30, at the Office of the Prime Minister, said while the amended law will observe Jamaica’s anti-narcotics obligations, the industries will operate under licence.

He  emphasized that the objective of modifying the Dangerous Drugs Act, is to lay the foundation for the establishment of regulatory regimes to govern the cultivation and use of ganja for medicinal and scientific purposes, as well as non-medicinal industrial hemp.

“It must be emphasized that these proposals must be consistent with the existing requirements of the anti-narcotics treaties to which Jamaica is a party,” Senator  Golding said, adding that it is “significant that the regulated utilization of ganja and industrial hemp for the specific purposes is indicated by the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.”

He noted that the UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs permits signatories to take such “legislative and administrative measures as may be necessary…subject to the provisions of this Convention, to limit exclusively to medicinal and scientific purposes, the production, manufacture, export, import, distribution of trade in, use and possession of drugs.”

The Minister, while pointing to hemp industries in the European Union (EU), said the UN Convention “expressly allows the cultivation, processing of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes, subject to the control measures which State parties are obliged to put in place.”

A Licensing Authority is to be established to govern the licensing processes for participation in the medicinal ganja industry, while the industrial hemp industry will be similarly subject to a licensing system. The amended Dangerous Drugs Act will enable the making of regulations for the licensing authority.

Minister Golding informed that it will deal with “permits and authorizations for the controlled cultivation, production, processing, possession, transportation, delivery, offering for sale, exporting and importing of ganja for medicinal and scientific purposes, including research, clinical trials and the manufacture of nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals.”