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Published: Thursday | December 5, 2013 Comments 0

Hylton lauds Lowe, team for MediCanja initiative

Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton, who was the guest speaker at the launch of Jamaica's first medical ganja company, MediCanja, said the opportunities emerging in the field have not been ignored.

Hylton said the company would also be joining with the academic community and entrepreneurship sector to ensure the country engages in sustained research to make the effort a lasting one.

Hylton lauded Professor Henry Lowe and his team for helping to grow the country's local nutraceutical industry, and said there were also prospects for development and growth of a thriving local pharmaceutical manufacturing and export industry.

He said Jamaica had an excellent opportunity to use established folk-medicine traditions to create value and wealth for the country.

Senate to pilot sign-language project

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Peart, yesterday announced that a sign-language programme will be piloted in the Senate in January.

He said the move is part of efforts towards making it easier for persons with disabilities, including the deaf, to observe meetings from the gallery and have better access to parliamentary proceedings.

He said the programme will be expanded next year to include parliamentary meetings.

Members of the House of Representatives were yesterday presented with copies of the United Nations Handbook for Parliamentarians on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Labour and Social Security Minister Derrick Kellier said members of the Senate will also receive copies to assist with the promotion of the rights of the disabled.

He was speaking in light of yesterday's observance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Economic programme to take spotlight at Cabinet meeting

The Government is to start preparation for the 2014-2015 Budget with a two-day special meeting of the Cabinet starting this afternoon.

Jamaica's economic programme is to top the agenda of the meeting.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said the Cabinet will review Jamaica's medium-term economic programme and the macroeconomic projections for the 2014-15 financial year.

It said specific attention would be given to a review of the growth agenda, and the social-protection programme. Focus will also be placed on the progress in the implementation of priority programmes and projects for the current fiscal year.

The OPM says the review will enable the setting of the Budget ceilings as well as the strategic priorities for the medium term and the upcoming fiscal year.

Hopes ride high on new medical marijuana firm

Professor Henry Lowe on Tuesday launched Jamaica's first medical marijuana company, MediCanja in Kingston, to capitalise on the multibillion-dollar industry's commercialisation.

Lowe is the executive chairman of Biotech Research and Development Institute.

He said it would be unfortunate if Jamaica lost out to a booming multibillion-dollar industry in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

He noted that Canada's hemp industry is valued at more than US$2 billion yearly.

Lowe pointed out that Jamaica was the first country in the world to develop a commercial product from ganja - Canasol, which is used to treat glaucoma.

MediCanja will undertake pioneering research and product development, using the medicinal compounds called the CBDs - the non-psychoactive compounds in ganja.

The establishment of MediCanja follows the publication of findings from a survey, which showed that a majority of Jamaica's population may be in support of relaxing the laws prohibiting the use of marijuana.

The survey, which was conducted by pollster Don Anderson, revealed that 55 per cent of those interviewed felt that the laws criminalising marijuana should be relaxed.



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