2015 was a big year for cannabis on the island of Jamaica due to the amendment of the Dangerous Drugs Act. The legal modification permitted the production of medical marijuana and allowed those interested, to apply for licenses and become part of the world’s fastest growing industry.
Jamaica’s official regulatory agency, the Cannabis Licensing Authority, has received 89 applications for the cultivation, logistics, research and sale of marijuana.
Some of the applications already submitted include 12 licenses for farmers, 8 for transportation, 18 for processing, 14 for R&D, and 24 applications for retail sales. The CLA said in an interview with The Jamaica Observer that they expect conditional approvals for qualifying applications by the end of this year.
Some of the qualifications necessary to become a cultivator of Jamaica’s finest crop are regular site inspections and adequate security. Those who want to qualify for a research and development license must first prove they have the necessary credentials for the study. Finally, Jamaicans who want to sell marijuana in retail outlets would need to be licensed for that activity as well.
Jamaica’s decision to officially legalize and regulate has had a far greater effect than making citizens (and tourists alike) very happy. It has also been a catalyst for other Caribbean Islands to consider similar marijuana reform.
A perfect example of this recent activity is the Cayman Islands, who are close to legalizing the import of medical marijuana. As well, Antigua aims to decriminalize up to 5 grams for personal use and Costa Rica is very close to enacting MMJ legislation. Even Barbados is looking to jump in after they saw Jamaica pass the amendment in 2015.
The “One Love” Nation is well on its way to selling legal weed. A decision that will generate more jobs, increased tourism, necessary medicine and a whole lot of joy.
As the iconic commercial says, “Come to Jamaica and feel alright.”
Cover Image Courtesy of The Guardian