2016 brings new hope for ganja industry development
Just two months after supporting the RasIyah V-led Rastafari Rootzfest High Times Jamaican World Cannabis Cup in Negril, Tweed, Canada's largest marijuana company licensed by Health Canada, is confident about Jamaica's prospects for developing a strong medical marijuana industry.
Tweed's head of international development and special projects, Blaine Dowdle, who has been active in Jamaica's ganja law-reform movement in recent years, noted that "Rastafari and the Jamaican people have a huge opportunity before them and it's critical that they get it right. To get it right, you will have to ensure that Rastafari freedoms are fully protected. Rastafari has done an incredible job at putting Jamaica on the map and developing a very positive image for Jamaica."
Canopy Growth Corp, Tweed's parent company, is the first multilicensed, geographically diverse marijuana producer in Canada. In addition to Tweed, it also owns and operates Tweed Farms, which grows marijuana in one of the largest marijuana-producing greenhouses in the world; and Bedrocan Canada, a leader in standardised medicinal cannabis research and production. Canopy Growth Corp is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange as CGC. The company is licensed under Canada's Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations and supplies a wide selection of marijuana to patients.
Justin Trudeau, the new prime minister of Canada, has all but opened the doors to further marijuana reform there and around the world. Newly appointed minister of justice and attorney general for Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould, has been mandated by Trudeau to look into implementing marijuana legalisation nationwide.
The mandate states specifically that the minister collaborate with other ministers to "create a federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalisation and regulation of marijuana". Canada's move to legalise marijuana will make it the first in the G7 bloc of industrialisd nations to do so.
Delano Seiveright, director of the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce, argued that the developments in Canada serve as a practical and psychological boon to Jamaica's reform efforts.
"As it stands now, we need to speed up the careful development of a legitimate medical marijuana industry and move towards further reform thereafter. That industry must be buttressed by fairness, transparency and accountability. Canada has had and continues to have its challenges, thereby offering us an opportunity to learn from them and pioneering companies like Tweed," Seiveright said.
Head of the University of the West Indies' Department of Government and Centre for Leadership and Governance, Dr Lloyd Waller, noted that "good progress was made last year. This year, it is time to solidify those achievements, get an understanding of best practice in places where they have been at it for years, like Canada, and tailor this to Jamaica's needs."