Thu | Apr 25, 2019

CLA to fast-track processing of licence applications

Published:Monday | March 18, 2019 | 12:11 AM

The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has been instructed to fast-track its licence-approval process.

The directive has come from Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green following a meeting with heads of the CLA last week about the authority’s operations: the implementation of the Alternative Development Pilot Programme and the cannabis licensing application process.

A release from his ministry stated that Green is concerned about the length of time it takes from application to decision and has therefore tasked the agency with exploring ways to reduce the time it takes to process applications. He said that due-diligence requirements have played a significant role in the delays and committed to engaging the CLA’s external partners to see if a reasonable time frame can be agreed upon.

Green, who has direct ministerial responsibility for the authority, has also tasked the CLA with embarking on a more expansive education programme about the application and licensing process for legal operators in the cannabis industry in order to facilitate interested persons and to guide them in the commencement of their application.

The minister noted that the ministry would be moving to employ more persons with agricultural competencies, both at the board level and the technical level. He said that incorporating traditional growers in the legal cannabis industry was a priority.

He has asked for an acceleration of the Alternative Development Pilot Programme, which targets the communities of Accompong and Orange Hill. The programme is set to be launched at the end of April.

Green said that that the ministry is committed to having a robust medical marijuana industry in keeping with international guidelines and standards.