Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, has welcomed discussions taking place between the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) and the Pharmacy Council of Jamaica with the objective of getting locally produced cannabis-based medicines in local pharmacies.
“We are encouraged by recent discussions. It is ironic that we are importing things like hemp and selling it in our pharmacies and we don’t have hemp from Jamaica being sold in our pharmacies. That can’t continue,” he said.
“Let us now provide the framework to develop these products to the required standards,” Minister Shaw urged, while making his contribution to the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 11).
The Minister contended that the future success of the industry lies in cannabis by-products aimed at improving the quality of life of users. These by-products, he said, include nutraceuticals to treat a variety of common ailments and full-spectrum cannabis oil that can be infused in tinctures, edibles and topicals.
Minister Shaw said that a nutraceutical sector can benefit tremendously from the Export/Import Bill, which is at the final stages before going to Cabinet for approval.
“Jamaica remains one of the few countries in the world known for its cannabis. This has significant brand value but we must act with urgency. In the interim, the aforementioned export policy has made it possible for several of our local licensees to export to Germany, Australia, the United States, among other countries,” he pointed out.
The global cannabis industry is forecast to double in value, with a worth of approximately US$42 billion in three years.
The Pharmacy Council of Jamaica was established in August 1975 by the Ministry of Health with responsibilities for the regulation of pharmacists, pharmaceutical students, pharmacy owners and authorised sellers of poisons in accordance with The Pharmacy Act (1966).
The Council maintains the registers for all the aforesaid persons and sets standards for pharmacists’ education, scopes of practice and conduct.