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Small ganja farmers to get help to legalise cultivation

Published:Monday | March 20, 2017 | 10:08 AM

The Government is to undertake a programme to help small ganja farmers benefit from a legal regulated cannabis industry.

The project dubbed, the Alternative Development Programme, is to be carried out over one year.

The Cabinet says small traditional farmers have worked to establish the Jamaican brand in the global cannabis industry and have suffered for the cause of creating a legal industry.

It says the programme will therefore seek to help these farmers to transition from illicit cultivation of ganja to a sustainable legal avenue.

Small ganja farmers and advocacy groups have expressed concern that they would be left out of the regulated industry.

They have complained that the cost of obtaining a permit to cultivate and sell ganja is too prohibitive.

Persons seeking a ganja permit must pay an application processing fee of U$300 for individuals and US$500 for company, business or cooperative.

Licensing fees range between US$2,000 and US$10,000.

Last November the Cannabis Licensing Authority indicated that it received 89 applications for licences and last month announced that it had given condition approval to three applicants.