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Small farmers included in medical marijuana industry

Published:Friday | April 17, 2015 | 4:53 PM

JUSTICE MINISTER Senator Mark Golding says the Government is aiming to create an inclusive framework for the operation of the medical marijuana industry.

He said the system would be designed in a way to allow for small farmers to operate within a lawful industry.

"We don't want a design which is going to be prohibitive in terms of its requirements that would exclude especially small farmers from participating. That is where we think that there (will) be tremendous economic benefits," he said.

The justice minister was addressing the Rotary Club of Kingston's luncheon held on Thursday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015, which has been passed into law and became effective on Wednesday (April 15), provides for the creation of a Cannabis Licensing Authority, which will be responsible for developing the regulations governing the medical marijuana industry.

by-product export

Golding said that the law also contemplates the export of medicinal products to be derived from the marijuana industry.

"Not the raw plant itself (rather), but other things derived from the plant such as oils or lotions, whatever it might be. There are countries already, Canada for example, that licences the importation of marijuana," he informed.

The justice minister said there are opportunities for Jamaica to supply marijuana derivatives to the Canadian market if the country can meet the required standards.

He noted that the standards for Canada are "very exacting" in terms of the controls and the environment in which the plants must be grown. He contended, however, that there are opportunities to supply that market.