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Boost education with ganja tax – Halsall

Published:Wednesday | September 6, 2017 | 10:49 AM
Chief executive officer of Advanced Integrated Systems, Doug Halsall (left) and Ganja Growers, Programme Director, Paul Burke, in discussions before the start of a public forum on medical ganja recently.

Doug Halsall, chief executive officer of Advanced Integrated Systems, is pointing to the long-touted establishment of a local medical marijuana industry as an opportunity to invest in and increase much-needed resources in education.

He said the possibility of using taxes from medical marijuana to finance education is the reason he fully supports the development of this industry locally.

"If the business of medical marijuana can be efficiently managed and the taxes go directly to education, we will start the journey out of 'Third World-ism'," said Halsall.

"I believe that unless education is treated as an investment rather than an expense, as capital rather than recurrent, with very bold return on investment goals, Jamaica will remain a Third-World country. If we continue to spend as little as US$150 per capita on secondary education, we are not going to get there."

Ganja just the beginning

He argued, "The whole marijuana business is just the beginning of the benefit chain that Jamaica can have, and it's really a shame that at this stage of the development of medical marijuana, Jamaica is so far behind."

Halsall was addressing participants at a recent public forum hosted by the Mona School of Business and Management at the University of the West Indies, Mona, under the theme, 'The Business of Medicinal Marijuana: Profit or Loss?'

The forum involved marijuana experts, researchers, business interests, and scholars, who shared cutting-edge research and innovative strategies to fuel a growing economy for investing in and being an integral part of the burgeoning market.

It was largely agreed that the difference between Jamaica making a profit or a loss in the business of marijuana is the need to act fast.