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Some convicts will not be granted ganja licences

Published:Monday | June 6, 2016 | 6:18 PM

Persons who have been convicted of some offenses will not be granted licences by the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) to grow or process ganja legally.

Chairman of the authority, attorney-at-law Cindy Lightbourne, says the CLA will reject applications from persons found guilty of specific offenses under Schedule 3 of the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act, 2014, or Sections 92 and 93 of the Proceeds of Crime Act, as well as other categories of crimes under the Dangerous Drug Act, for which a specified amount of time hasn’t passed.

Persons wishing to grow and process ganja legally in Jamaica will also have to satisfy a number of requirements before being granted licences. 

She says persons wishing to be licensed must have been living in Jamaica for more than three years.

Companies must be registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica with ownership and control by persons resident in Jamaica for a minimum of three years.

In the case of cooperatives applying for licenses, Lightbourne says they must have proof of registration as a cooperative.    

Meanwhile, the CLA chairman says discussions are currently underway with the finance ministry in relation to the fees charged by the authority for licensing.

She says efforts are being made to allow special consideration for small farmers after concerns were raised about the hefty fees for licensing.