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Bureau of Standards wants to import ganja seeds

Published:Friday | October 9, 2015 | 10:15 AM

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) has applied to the Government for a licence to import some 100 ganja seeds.

Minister of Science and Technology Phillip Paulwell has confirmed that the application was submitted to his ministry and is being considered.

Speaking with The Gleaner/Power106 News Centre, Paulwell said his understanding is that the seeds will be used for a pilot project being undertaken by the BSJ to help develop a regulatory framework for the country's fledgling medical marijuana industry.

The way was cleared for Jamaica to become a part of the global billion-dollar medical marijuana industry last year when local lawmakers enacted changes to the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The amendments decriminalised possession of small quantities of ganja and also allowed the use of marijuana for religious and medicinal purposes.

The BSJ is to serve as the central licensing authority for the industry.

Since the changes were enacted, Government insiders say a number of international and local players have been seeking to invest in the medical marijuana industry locally.

According to one insider, this makes it important for the regulatory framework being developed to police this industry to be able to stand up to international scrutiny.

The insider says this is why the BSJ is seeking to use the pilot project to develop standards and establish protocols for the tracking and tracing of imported ganja seeds.

The insider says the framework being developed will ensure that the industry does not become a free for all.