Wed | Jan 27, 2021

CLA clarifies Forbes article claims

Published:Saturday | June 6, 2020 | 12:17 AM


THE CANNABIS Licensing Authority (CLA) is aware of a May 30, 2020, Forbes article titled ‘Aphria, Aurora and other big Ag Cannabis companies pull out of Jamaica’. CLA wishes to take this opportunity to clarify some matters and inaccuracies mentioned in the article, specifically those referring to the CLA.

First, the article cited frustration due to “lack of action” on the part of the CLA and the Jamaican Government, as well as “stalled governmental decisions on export licences”, as reasons for the named companies pulling their investments from Jamaica. While CLA cannot speak to the internal decisions of a licensee, licence holders are not hindered in their ability to export product from Jamaica due to the non-passage of import/export legislation.

For clarity, the Government of Jamaica continues to work on the said regulations to ensure that the same are comprehensive and comply with all requirements of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended by the 1972 protocol, and adequately address the needs of the industry, primarily the licensees.

Interim Import/Export Protocols

In the absence of these regulations, CLA developed interim import/export protocols in 2018, and said protocols are published on our website. Further, the CLA has considered and assisted all requests from its licensees in order to facilitate the export of their product.

Further, since November 2018, the CLA has processed export requests and granted 15 export authorisations to licensees in accordance with the established interim measures for export. To date, all licensees who have sought export authorisations have received the same from the CLA.

We note the comment stating that “slight amount of export ... was only permitted for medical research and development”. The authority does not limit the amount of cannabis stated on each import permit. The quantity on said permits is determined by the country issuing the import permit and the licensee, not the authority. It must be noted that the established interim measures do not specify export quantities and do not specify the purpose of said export. Accordingly, commercial quantities are not excluded from export. Unfortunately, the comment gives the inaccurate impression that there is a limit imposed by the CLA.

Further, exports facilitated since 2018 have been for various purposes, including research, medical purposes, cultivation, and the manufacturing of medical products.

We want it to be made clear that all licensees can access export authorisations through the CLA. The licensee is required to possess an import permit from a receiving country. The receiving country must also be a signatory to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs, as amended by the 1971 protocol. Also, it is the licensee and the importer that make the decision as to the purpose and quantity to be exported, and not the CLA.