The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Ganja, this week, gave instructions for drafting of interim regulations for the Cannabis industry to begin. The instructions came after an exhaustive process including consultation with key stakeholders by the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA). The Interim Regulations will govern the licensing regime for the cultivation, harvesting, processing/manufacturing, transporting and retailing of ganja.
The instruction to draft the interim regulations comes just nine months after the Amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act came into effect on April 15, 2015 and less than eight months after the CLA was formed. No other jurisdiction has been able to issue drafting instructions for the development of regulations in so short a period of time.
The Cannabis Licensing Authority, which was established under the Act, falls under the auspices of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce and is charged with developing and administering the regulatory framework for Industrial Hemp as well as Ganja (marijuana) for medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes. The impending implementation of the interim regulations will pave the way for the Authority to begin the issuance of licenses, permits and authorizations in keeping with said regulations.
In commenting on the work to create the interim regulations, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Hon. Anthony Hylton stated; “We have been deliberate in developing a regulatory framework which is lean, evidence-based, and market-driven for the development of this important industry. We have done extensive consultations, learnt best practices from the experiences of different countries and taken into consideration our own unique circumstances in a bid to ensure that these interim regulations are fit-for-purpose and will encourage the growth and development of the industry”.
Chairman of the Cannabis Licensing Authority, Dr. Andre Gordon, in discussing the different licenses under the interim regulations stated, “The licensing regime will facilitate the legal cultivation, transportation, processing and retailing of Cannabis products and seeks to facilitate particularly current industry stakeholders who have waited for this for some time. Indeed, through extensive consultation with stakeholders, we have sought to effectively regulate the industry from seed to sale, for the benefit of all”.
The development of the cannabis industry presents opportunities for job creation and increased entrepreneurship in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, medical research and tourism-related activities which will contribute to Jamaica’s economic development.
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The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is described as Jamaica's "Business Ministry." It's mandate is to lead the development of policies that will create growth and jobs, while achieving social inclusion and consumer protection. The Ministry, working its stakeholders is primarily responsible for business policy development, monitoring and evaluation, while giving direction and oversight to a cluster of implementing departments and agencies.
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