PROFESSOR HENRY Lowe's dream of a multi-billion-dollar business in medical marijuana has formally taken root, this, after the launch of Medicanja, Jamaica's first medical ganja company, on Tuesday night. Lowe said the recent Knowledge Attitudes and Practice Survey showed that over 85 per cent of persons interviewed felt Government should support the use of ganja for medicinal purposes.
"This is why we took the bold step to set up this company to demonstrate that we can use science and technology to make products and services for the people, not only of Jamaica, but the rest of the world," he said.
He lamented that other countries had moved ahead of Jamaica even though the country had produced the first commercial product from marijuana, the eyedrops Canasol.
"We have a brand, and the brand doesn't have to be linked to smoking ganja," he said. "A brand is a brand, and the Jamaican ganja is known to be good and useful." Industry Minister Anthony Hylton, who was guest speaker, suggested that previous attempts at exploring the medical uses of marijuana faltered because persons didn't look at the science and hard facts.
"We engaged in a lot of duppy stories and superstition and blame games, all kinds of things other than to ground our position in the sciences and on the evidence that is available," he said.
Medicanja will also seek to synthesise ganja-related compounds for medicinal purposes; develop pharmaceuticals from ganja for various illnesses; promote collaboration among scientists, doctors and policymakers in advancing the local medical marijuana industry; and contribute to the development of Jamaica by producing local products from ganja for the local and international markets.
"We are going to be working with clinicians to do clinical trials on some of the products so that we can be ahead of the game," he said.