Nutraceutical industry to boost earnings
Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton says Jamaica stands to benefit from the establishment of a nutraceutical industry through increased earnings and job creation.
"The development of these industries will allow us to move towards a stronger and more prosperous Jamaica; one characterised by increased foreign-exchange earnings and increased employment, and improved social and economic well-being of all persons involved," Hylton said.
He was speaking at the launch of the National Nutraceutical Industry yesterday at Hope Gardens, St Andrew.
He said there is also the benefit of export diversification, which will "allow our country to make better use of open distribution channels, which is key as we look to enter global supply and value chains within the international trading system".
Nutraceuticals are food or food products that are purported to provide health and medical benefits, including the prevention and treatment of diseases. Jamaica is home to more than 80 plants, which are said to have these benefits.
According to Hylton, with the formation of the nutraceutical industry, "the opportunities to develop the industrial hemp and medical marijuana industries become further magnified".
Parliament has passed legislation to provide for regulation, through the granting of licences, to permit the development of a lawful industry for medical ganja and industrial hemp.
Hylton informed that a cross-ministry consultative group has been established and that draft regulations governing the industrial hemp industry "are at hand and will be shared with key stakeholders".
According to the minister, focus is on the "regulatory framework for standards development, intellectual property protection, investment promotion, and involvement of our micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises in order to enable the development of the industrial hemp and medical marijuana industries."