JIS News

The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, is collaborating with other government entities on several strategies to develop the local medicinal cannabis industry.

State Minister in the Ministry, Dr. the Hon. Norman Dunn, said the measures include fast-tracking new product approvals, especially for cannabis manufacturers who want to diversify, to access new market opportunities.

Other initiatives, he said, include developing regulations on dosing standards for tablets in the medicinal cannabis trade, and closely monitoring legislative changes in the United States federal system.

“In addition, the Ministry, along with Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) is fast-tracking finalisation of the import/export regulations, hemp regulations and amendments to the current interim regulations,” Dr. Dunn said.

“We are also finalising regulations for the Cultivator’s (Transitional) Special Permit and, through the Cannabis Development Task Force, will be working to promulgate a comprehensive national policy to develop a blueprint for the direction of this industry,” he added.

The State Minister was speaking at the launch of Epican’s 16 rare cannabis strains at Market Place on Constant Spring Road on June 15.

Dr. Dunn also informed that the Ministry is considering proposals from the Cannabis Development Task Force for a national lab and providing state-of-the-art equipment for optimal testing capabilities to be established for the industry.

The task force also proposed engaging with local financial institutions to allow for the financing and banking of cannabis companies.

Meanwhile, the State Minister said the CLA is now focused on maximising export market potential, value-added products, inclusion, enhanced customer experience and integration with other industries.

He informed that the agency is moving apace with regulating the cannabis industry, and in this regard has reached a milestone of 100 licences issued for cultivation, processing, transport, research and development, and retail of ganja for medical purposes.

“Notably, the most popular category was for small farms under one acre,” Dr. Dunn said.

Additionally, he noted that 45 export authorisations have been issued in the last three months, bringing the total since inception to 185. Receiving countries for these exports are in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

“I encourage industry players to scale up their operations so that we can expand the number of receiving countries as well as the amounts that we export. As we look towards the development of the cannabis industry, I encourage all stakeholders to pay attention to the standards that will make your products stand out both locally and internationally,” Dr. Dunn urged.

The CLA was set up in 2015 with a specific role to establish and regulate Jamaica’s legal ganja and hemp industry.

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