Tue | Jun 2, 2020

Rebel Salute's Herb Curb free for all

Published:Monday | January 14, 2019 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/Gleaner Writer
Joan Webley
Tony Rebel, principal of Rebel Salute.


If you're without a ticket to this weekend's Rebel Salute, don't worry; you won't miss out on one of the highlights of this year's festival - The Herb Curb Conference. This year's instalment of the Herb Curb Conference is free to the public.

"Making the conference free to the public is important to us. Our real Rebel Salute is to make this information available to everyone," organiser of the conference Joan Webley told The Gleaner.

Those who may not get to take part in the Herb Curb Symposium held on the festival grounds, are invited to join the discussions at Island Village in Ocho Rios on Thursday, January 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Under the overarching theme 'CaribCan Conference - Can the Caribbean Make Money From Cannabis', the conference will take part over three sessions, which will explore the business of cannabis, as well as sacramental rights and cultivation practices of the plant. Opening remarks will be given by Luciano, and festival principal Tony Rebel will give closing remarks at the CaribCan conference. "Good behaviour and open minds are all we're asking for," Webly said.

The first session, titled 'Ital is Vital,' will explore the business of cannabis and the different developments in the industry throughout the Caribbean. It will focus on developing and promoting Rastafari organic cultivation standards.




"The Rastafari way of cultivating cannabis is different from the international way of doing things, and the panelists are asserting that [the Rastafari way] is valid," Webley told The Gleaner. Panellists include attorney Sarah Hsai, who will speak on branding and licensing, and Jelani Niaah, who will speak on 'The Ital Standard'.

Under the theme 'Caribbean Cannabis Community - Positioning the Region for Global Success', the second panel will comprise a representative from The Jamaica Licenced Cannabis Association;
JIPO Senior Legal Officer Marcus Goffe, and attorney and cannabis entrepreneur Scheril Murray Powell.


Sacramental Rights


The final session is themed 'Human Rights, Ganja and Rastafari'. "Jamaica is the only country in the world with a sacramental right - a right to religious practice granted by the Government. We'll be having a deeper look at that," Webley said.

At the end, they hope to have answered the following: What does it mean to have sacramental rights? What is Rastafari? How do we enjoy such allowances 'rightfully'. Panellists will include First Man of the Rastafari indigenous village in Montego Bay and Blaine Dowdle, managing director of Itopia Life, part sponsors of the Herb Curb Conference.


Ostroda & Ocho Rios


Additionally, the conference will invite a delegation from the Ostroda Reggae Festival. Last year, Ocho Rios twinned with the northern Polish town of Ostroda. The twinning will lead to exchanges in tourism, culture and sports. It was considered fitting because both areas are internationally known for hosting reggae festivals. "Ochi and Ostroda are sisters because of the festivals. The founder of Ostroda Reggae Festival will be coming with a letter from the mayor of Ostroda to be read at the conference," Webley shared.

For the rest of the weekend, the Herb Curb Symposium will continue on as customary. On Friday, there will be a new addition to the symposium line-up - a growers' workshop presenting on indigenous knowledge transfer led by two Rastafari youths teaching elements of sacramental farming. On Saturday there will be the traditional symposium, with Mutabaruka returning once again as emcee. It will feature a mini-CaribCan Conference panelled by First Man, Murray Powell, Niaah, and Webley.