Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Regulate, not ban, ganja edibles

Published:Saturday | June 3, 2017 | 6:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The recent revelation by the Ministry of Justice to ban the sampling and sale of all cannabis-infused edibles at entertainment events is a retrograde step and not one consistent with the emergence of the Jamaica cannabis industry and the development of the human-resource capabilities of the industry players.

Our organisations, The Ganja Growers and Producers Association of Jamaica and Scarce Commodity, are cognisant that urgent action and attention must be directed to the thriving cannabis-infused edible market. In order to administer the therapeutic and medical value of this preferred delivery method of ingesting cannabis orally, ensuring the safety of the consumer is paramount.

An audit must be conducted into the existing modus operandi of the producers, dispensers, and consumers of cannabis-infused edible products. By doing so, one would be able to provide a comprehensive report on the existing framework and recommendations for standardised protocol to govern the production, distribution, and sale of cannabis-infused edibles.

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica, the Scientific Research Council, the Cannabis Licensing Authority, and the University of the West Indies should all prepare a working committee that would seek to address proper guidelines governing the safe use and dosage of cannabis-infused edibles, standardised quantitative testing, protocol governing the raw material used and processing methodologies, training, and certification for the producers and distributors of these products.

There is also great need to address public awareness to prevent recurrences of irresponsible consumption of cannabis. The negative stigma being circulated in the international press will continue to deplete Jamaica's integrity and its ability to integrate itself within the global cannabis economy.

Therefore, we ask for further consultation and dialogue to advance the discourse towards the implementation of regulated infused cannabis edible products that meet international standards and certification.

RICHARD CRAWFORD

Ganja Growers and Producers Association of Jamaica

ANDRE HAUGHTON

Scarce Commodity