Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Small farmers urged to consider weed

Published:Saturday | March 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Small ganja farmers across the island are being encouraged to make use of the opportunities that will be available in the medicinal ganja industry.

Speaking in Douglas Castle, St Ann, on March 18, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell said the 'small man' must ensure that he becomes a major player in the new industry.

The minister said efforts will be made to ensure that the small ganja farmers who have been in the system a long time are not squeezed out by persons with wealth.

"There are some people who are concerned that with us allowing ganja to be used for medicinal purposes, it's only the big man who is going to be involved in this thing, and it is only the big people who will be a part of this. That cannot be so, because under the illegal regime, it was the small man who struggled and went about the business, and in this new era, we have to ensure that there is space for every single Jamaican who want to be a part of this legal framework to grow ganja, to extract the medicine from it," he said.

The minister pointed out that under the regulated system, producers and growers will be licensed and every effort will be made to ensure that law and order prevails in the industry, as the Government moves to ensure that true medicinal and financial benefits are derived from the crop.

Paulwell said that a major public education drive will be undertaken to ensure that persons are made aware that the Government is not advocating for the wholesale use of the weed.