Cannabis Authority in Jamaica Taking Steps to Meet Growing Demand

Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green (second left), participates in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open Epican Montego Bay . Others (from left) are President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Omar Robinson; President of Epican, Dwayne McKenzie; and President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Winston Lawson. (Photo Credit: JIS)

KINGSTON,
Jamaica, Tuesday May 21, 2019
– Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry,
Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green says the Cannabis Licensing
Authority (CLA) is taking steps to respond more efficiently to the growing
demand within the industry.

He said the entity has embarked
on a review of its application process, which should be completed over the next
six weeks.

“We want to ensure there isn’t
too much bureaucracy in the system while still ensuring the safeguards,” Green
said.

He informed that the CLA will
also be improving site inspection through engagement of two additional
officers.

“We are going to be
strengthening our human resource framework by bringing in a senior director of
operations. This is important because my goal is to reduce the time it takes
for someone to get into the legal industry,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Green said that the
Government is in the process of developing the regulatory framework to enable
the country to capitalise on the US$100-billion global medical marijuana
industry

He said that internationally, there
is a steady movement towards scientific exploration, testing and acceptance of
the many health benefits of cannabis, and Jamaica sees those areas as highly beneficial
and of top priority.

The Minister noted, however,
that proper regulations must be in place to enable access to export markets.

“Jamaica has a unique brand
appeal in the cannabis world, and that gives us an edge. We also know that we
need to take a part of the international market, and we can only do that if we
put together export regulations that will make companies like Epican, able to
export,” he said.

“We want the entire country to
understand the possibilities that await us, especially when we… show that our
industry has structures and standards in place and is regulated to meet
international guidelines and standards.”

Green was speaking at the official
opening of Epican Montego Bay, Jamaica’s new medical cannabis dispensary. The
company has a second store in Kingston and is looking to open three additional
dispensaries in short order.

He noted that Epican is “uniquely Jamaican”, with the company cultivating certified-organic cannabis at its Blue Mountain farm where the conditions produce the highest-quality product.

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