The Mines and Geology Division (MGD) of the Ministry of Transport and Mining is the newest partner of the local cannabis industry after being granted a Special (Interim) Authorisation by the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) to provide testing services, particularly for the testing of the presence of heavy metals in cannabis and cannabis products.
This makes MGD the 4th approved cannabis testing facility, joining a list of partners for testing to include the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, the Scientific Research Council and Caribbean Toxicology Laboratory of the University of the West Indies, that are also holders of Special (Interim) Authorizations for the testing of cannabis and cannabis products on behalf of the Authority and licensees. Prior to the CLA issuing these Authorisations, local licensees could only access testing for their products overseas.
Speaking on the granting of the Special Authorisation, Interim C.E.O. of the CLA, Daenia Ashpole, said this initiative was geared at “strengthening the testing services being offered to the medical cannabis industry in an effort to continue to safeguard consumers”.
“Testing not only ensures that the local industry continues to produce quality products for local consumers, but it also facilitates international trade.” She continued.
Commenting on the impact the MGD’s involvement will have on the development of the industry
Commissioner of the Mines, Mr Roy Nicholson, said the MGD has “the requisite skillset and equipment to provide premier quality testing of cannabis and cannabis products, plus a guaranteed fast turn-around time for analyses.” He added that this partnership affords the MGD the opportunity to extend its highly efficient technical laboratory services to a new market.
Regulation 15(4) of the Dangerous Drugs (Cannabis Licensing) (Interim) Regulations, 2016, empowers the Authority, at any stage of cultivation, to require a licensee to have any ganja at the cultivation site tested. In addition, Tripartite Agreements which are used to facilitate trade among licensees, require that testing must be conducted by a competent laboratory having a licence issued by the Authority, or by an entity having legislative authority to provide the required testing services, to determine the quality of the cannabis to be sold by licensees.
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