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Jamaican officials advocate supporting small-scale cannabis cultivation

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Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade recently spoke out in support of small-scale hemp growers. According to the Jamaica ObserverMinister of State Dr Norman Dunn, the Alternative Development Program (ADP) is still seen as one of the best ways to help smaller cannabis growers enter the legal industry.

“ADP is a community-centered approach where participating communities will be allowed to farm up to 10 acres of land [and] They will be required to sell all of their output from the program to a licensed downstream buyer or permit holders approved by the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), Dan said at the 4/20 event held at Island Village in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.

Alternatively, a Transitional Special Farmer’s Permit can also help remove barriers to entry for farmers. Dunn described the permit as “less stringent,” and would give growers a chance to grow legally while also raising money to submit an official permit application to the CLA. Through the “mother farm” concept, small farmers will be allowed to partner with an already licensed grower to grow cannabis and then sell it to the licensee.

“The Ministry recently hosted a meeting of several stakeholders within the licensed system to consult on matters related to the industry and chart the sustainable development of this important industry,” Dan added. “We at the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade continue to convene and engage stakeholders across Jamaica from within the various communities, in academia, medical research, corporate and across government… that will advance Jamaica’s distinctive cannabis industry.”

Other government representatives such as Olivia Grange, Minister for Culture, Sex, Leisure and Sport, have expressed the need to regulate and modernize the cannabis industry. With the approach mentioned by Dan, Grange believes they can help destigmatize cannabis, allowing the herb to become “the foundation of a new Jamaican industry with the potential to make a significant contribution to the national budget.”

according to Ministry of Industry, Investment and TradeThere are 128 small farmers who can benefit from the mother farm concept. In March, Jamaican Senator Obyn Hill made it clear that the goal was to allow the program to start this month in April. “When I look across Jamaica…you have people with one acre, two acres, three acres, but they don’t have the working capital. The mother farm concept allows for the great investor,” the minister explained. “So we’re finding ways to make sure we mitigate some of the problems. . We are looking for real ways to develop medical cannabis cultivation in Jamaica.”

The history of the development of ADP dates back to 2017. In an interview with Jamaica ObserverCLA President Hyacinth Lightbourne expressed the need to support small farmers. “If traditional farmers are excluded, one of the fundamental reasons for the development of this industry will fail, as the program aims to provide a legal alternative to those who traditionally grow illegal crops,” Lightburn said.

While Jamaican officials work to help small farmers, recent news reports from March show that the country recently granted a license to a company that plans imports Hemp from Canada. The decision worried officials such as CLA Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin as to the nature of the new license. “I have brought this to the attention of our members and the industry,” Lewin said. “And also to the CLA; who confirmed it. I made a lot of noise about it because I am very angry that a country that does not allow Jamaican imports or exports from Jamaica to its market can be granted permission to export to Jamaica.”

In response, Secretary Hill said that imported Canadian cannabis is not available in Jamaica. “It’s a Jamaican company…they have to follow the rules that are in the legislation…the strain of ganja that’s being imported is not available in Jamaica. The permit is granted based on the license that you have,” Hill said, according to Jamaica Gleaner.

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