Sun | Jan 24, 2021

Trelawny hemp grower starts shipping CBD oils to the US

Published:Tuesday | December 8, 2020 | 12:11 AMLeon Jackson/Gleaner Writer
CBD oil produced by the Trelawny-based Organic Growth Holdings.
CBD oil produced by the Trelawny-based Organic Growth Holdings.

WESTERN BUREAU:

One year after breaking ground for its US$4-million hemp plant for CBD oil (cannabidiol) production, the Trelawny-based Organic Growth Holdings (OGH) has sent off its first shipment of products to Delaware in the United States.

“The first shipment of the organically extracted cannabidiol, derived from Jamaican hemp plants and made by Jamaican hands, has placed the country in a historical first. It is the first such shipment to leave the country,” said Robert Weinstein, president of OGH.

He said that OGH faced no banking hurdles in the United States, a situation many persons had envisioned could threaten Jamaica’s emerging ganja and hemp industries.

“Unlike ganja, hemp has no problems as it relates to banking. It is legal in the United States,” noted Weinstein.

Seeing the first shipment going off without a hitch has left Weinstein quite relieved.

“We have had some setbacks, but we never lost sight of our vision. The first shipment was envisioned to be in June 2020,” said Weinstein, who sees the near six-month delay as teething pains that are unlikely to surface again.

With the production of CBD oil now in full swing at the farm, Weinstein is of the view that a new economic window has opened for Jamaica.

“The product interacts with receptors of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that macerates blood pressure, and the feeling of fear and anxiety. It also reduces depression,” said Weinstein. “It will be available on the shelves of pharmacies and supermarkets. Visitors to the island can also make purchases and take it back with them.”

OGH leased 635 acres of land from Sugar Company of Jamaica Holdings for their ambitious project.

At OGH’s groundbreaking ceremony, then Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw said he expected that within a few years, the hemp/ganja industry would prove quite lucrative for Jamaica.

“By 2022, the production of the by-products from hemp will become a $6-billion industry,” Shaw predicted.

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