Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw (centre), Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Dr. Norman Dunn (right); Incoming Chairman, Le Vaugh Flynn (3rd right); Acting Senior Director of Operations, Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), Faith Graham (right); outgoing CEO of the CLA, Lincoln Allen (3rd left); Senior Director, Industry Division, Sophia Wellington (2nd left); and Director Industrial Policy Development, Lliana Blake (left), at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. The virtual meeting was held to introduce the CLA’s new Board Chairman and to discuss the state of the cannabis industry. Stakeholders from several cannabis operations joined virtually.
The Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Hon. Audley
Shaw, has welcomed the newly appointed chairman of the Cannabis
Licensing Authority (CLA), Le Vaugh Flynn, and has tasked the chairman
to move post-haste to improve the growth of the industry.
Speaking at a virtual introductory meeting hosted by the Ministry
today, Minister Shaw, while noting the work of the previous board,
staff and stakeholders of the CLA, said all efforts must now be placed
on moving the cannabis industry forward if Jamaica is to take its rightful
place in the global arena.
“We have a lot of catching up to do if we are going to hold on to a piece
of the pie of the global cannabis industry,” Minister Shaw said.
The export regulations to support stakeholders’ push to launch out
globally are now at the final stages before promulgation, the Minister
said adding that work has been done to remove the impediments to the
take-off of the industry.
For his part, State Minister Hon. Dr. Norman Dunn, who has
responsibility for the industry, noted that the current changes in
sentiments in key international markets may augur favourably for
Jamaica’s push for growth in the coming months.
While thanking the outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Allen,
Minister Dunn said the time is now ripe to get Jamaica’s fledgling
cannabis industry off the tarmac.
“The time is now for us to get what I believe we can get out of this
industry,” the State Minister said, adding that the work of the Rastafari
community, who are recognized as the historical purveyors of the
industry, must not be overlooked.
He further commended the regulatory framework set out by the CLA,
noting it has laid the foundation for the new thrust of promotion and
the accelerated focus on growth.
In accepting the charge to take the baton from the previous board, Mr.
Flynn thanked the Ministers for their confidence in his ability to deliver
on the mandate and heralded his intent to develop a robust framework
to support communication and solid relationships with stakeholders as
the CLA moves to develop a more responsive platform to induce the
well sought-after growth.
“If I were a licensee some of the things I would want are a regulator
that offers an efficient process so that routine requirements such as
applications for licenses are done efficiently. Another thing I would
want is a regulator that creates an environment that promotes the
growth of commercial activity and the latter part is where I think the
focus of the CLA will be going forward,” the new chairman said.
While commending the work of the previous board and CEO, Flynn said
a “fine job of establishing the regulatory framework” of the CLA was
done and “this will continue to form the bedrock of how the Authority
“We have seen the rescheduling and reclassification of cannabis by the
United Nations and the United States government and those things give
us the impression that potentially in another couple years, we could
have cannabis legalized at the federal level in the US and when that
happens, it will completely open the global free trade for cannabis. The
question we have to [therefore] ask ourselves is ‘When that happens,
where will Jamaica be?” he said, noting that going forward there will be
a strong collaborative effort between the licensees and the Authority.
Other board members include:
Ms. Gabrielle Hylton
Ms. Shullette Cox
Ms. Ava Maxam
Mr. Andre Coore
Mr. Delano Seiveright
Ms. Samantha Allen
Mr. Barrington Thomas
Dr. Jacquiline Bassasor-Mckenzie
Prof. Wayne McLaughlin
Ms. Michelle Walker
Ms. Cameil Wilson-Clarke
Mr. Kamau Janai
Mrs. Barbara Blake-Hannah
Representative - National Council of Drug Abuse
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