Tue | Jan 21, 2020

CLA must act for the local cannabis industry

Published:Friday | December 6, 2019 | 12:20 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

I write in response to an article published on Wednesday, December 4, titled ‘Hemp industry in US cleared to do business with banks’. It instantly touched something in my own consciousness as I recognised that our local cannabis industry is lacking that opportunity.

The hypocrisy of it all! How dare we celebrate cannabis as a developing industry when cannabis producers and consumers are still treated like outlaws. My question is: Where should our major cannabis players put their earnings?

Recently, we celebrated the exportation of 10 kilograms, or 22lb, of legal cannabis to Canada by a licensed Jamaican cannabis company. That’s great, but it seems like we are missing a crucial step on the road to real progress, and in the absence of that key step, I’m afraid that the local medicinal marijuana trade will stagnate.

The fact that local marijuana players are unable to bank their earnings means then that the potential for commerce and economic development is severely hampered.

FAIR IS FAIR

I am imploring the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to take the necessary steps to ensure that our many existing and emerging cannabis players are able to do business transactions with banking institutions with a level of ease.

Our economic progress as a country depends on it. It is no secret that the local trade is laced with legislation, expensive fees and licences. My plea is that the CLA will champion the cause of the medicinal marijuana producers just as feverishly as it regulates them. Fair is fair. They earn funds legally. They should be able to bank and invest these funds.

KALEB KHALEEL