Sat | Sep 18, 2021

Is CLA helping or strangulating marijuana industry?

Published:Thursday | September 9, 2021 | 12:06 AM


I was outraged to see the story in The Gleaner of August 26 titled ‘Ganja blow!’ If an industry is being regulated and there are law-abiding retailers and farmers who conform to the regulations of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), how can something like this be allowed to happen? Epican, like so many other cannabis retailers, has been around for a number of years and each year it has to renew its licence to operate. Like other players in the industry, the business cannot operate without product or inventory.

How can the CLA be boasting about growing an industry while at the same time strangling it? The CLA seems to be taking us Jamaicans for fools. The administration of the CLA is woefully lacking in any true knowledge or expertise of the industry or the plights of ganja farmers out there. I am appealing to the minister with responsibility to seriously look at this grossly unfair and unjust situation.

Would it not have served us better for a fine to be imposed or some other measure to be taken? How does destroying these plants help to propel the industry? Undoubtedly, this has cost the cannabis industry millions in losses, and by extension will only serve to further suffocate struggling businesses like Epican, especially in these pandemic times.

Sometimes we must remember that as an arm of the Government, CLA has to operate like the Government, in service to and of the people. Not as a law unto themselves.