Mon | Jul 15, 2019

CLA gets staff boost

Published:Monday | May 20, 2019 | 12:12 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green speaking during the opening of the new Epican Jamaica dispensary on the Jimmy Cliff Boulevard, in Montego Bay, St James.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green speaking during the opening of the new Epican Jamaica dispensary on the Jimmy Cliff Boulevard, in Montego Bay, St James.

Western Bureau:

Eight senior personnel, including two agricultural specialists, are to be employed to the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) to boost its capacity.

The announcement was made by Minister of State in the ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, at the grand opening and expansion of Epican Jamaica Medicinals on Jimmy Cliff Boulevard in Montego Bay last Thursday.

“The truth is, they have to get ­additional human resources. So for the first time in the history of the three-year-old organisation, we are going to employ two agricultural specialists to work with those players in the industry to ensure that we are infusing research in what we do,” said Green.

He said the Government’s intention is to employ qualified persons to properly advise and strengthen the operations of the CLA.

“We are going to be strengthening our monitoring framework by ­bringing three additional officers; we are going to be strengthening our site inspection framework by bringing in two ­additional officers; but, also, we are going to strengthen our organisation[al] framework by bringing a senior director of operations,” said Green.

“Why is all of this important? My goal is to reduce the time that it takes for somebody to get into the legal ­(medicinal cannabis) industry. Quite frankly, it has taken too long for ­people who have come to invest, who are above board, who can help us expand our brand, to get involved in the industry.”

He said the CLA is currently engaged in a review of its application process to remove duplications that slow down the processing of applications.

“We want to ensure that there isn’t too much bureaucracy in the system, while still ensuring the safeguards. We expect to complete this review over the next six weeks,” said Green.

The minister said he wants partners in the industry to ­experience a renewed, and revitalised Cannabis Licensing Authority that will facilitate the ­expansion of their businesses.