When Jamaica’s Wealth Is Wrapped In Weed


Jamaica’s Wealth – It has been five years since Jamaica embarked on the road to establishing and building out a legal ganja and Hemp Industry. The goal has been for the development of an orderly industry where the plant and it’s by-products are used for medical, therapeutic, and scientific purposes. There was much optimism at the start of the journey about the great prospects to be reaped in light of Jamaica’s history with the growth of the plant. But this has seemingly turned into despair, disappointment, and despondence for several players in the sector who’ve bemoaned publicly the slow pace of development.

But with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) now forecasting a 9 to 10 percent contraction in the local economy for the current fiscal year is this industry in a position to make its mark and contribute to economic recovery and growth? The cannabis licensing authority is the agency mandated to create regulations to guide the industry and issue licenses. Permits and authorization for the handling of ganja and hemp.

We sat down with its legal officer and director of research, development, and communication to gauge the current direction of the agency. Felicia Bailey provided an overview of the current state of the industries and activities now taking place.

And the cannabis sector was one industry that did not go down during COVID-19. International reports suggest growth in the global industry was out-pacing that of 2019. Reid says Jamaica can be no different  as the local industry is resilient. 

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