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Negril to host legal Ganja Festival

Published:Thursday | September 3, 2015 | 5:07 PMAdrian Frater
Ras Iyah V, CEO of RII and chairman of the Westmoreland Hemp and Ganja Farmers Association.

Western Bureau:

History will be created in Negril, Westmoreland, between November 12 and 15 when Rastafari In Inity (RII), in association with the internationally known High Times Magazine, Rastafari Rootzfest, the inaugural ganja festival, in the resort town of Negril

"The feedback has been great both locally and internationally," said Ras Iyah V, CEO of RII and chairman of the Westmoreland Hemp and Ganja Farmers Association. "We have gotten all the requisite permits and we are now ready to create history. This will be the first legal ganja event to take place in Jamaica."

According to Ras Iyah V, the goal of the overall project is to produce a comprehensive, educational and well-organised Rastafari event that celebrates Rastafari ideology, livity and culture, while telling the true story of Rastafari's struggle for the legalisation of ganja, and celebrating its decriminalisation in Jamaica.

"Rastafari Rootzfest was conceptualised as an annual ganja festival, consumer expo, trade show and competition," noted Ras Iyah V. "When we announced it at an event in Colorado earlier this year, the reception from the 8,000 to 9,000 persons who were present was unbelievable."

The amendments to Jamaica's Dangerous Drugs Act, which became law on April 15, 2015, recognised the rights of Rastafari to use ganja as a sacrament in their events, setting the stage for the production of the first international wellness festival, which celebrates Jamaica's indigenous peoples and their cultural heritage, inclusive of educational seminars, commerce, art and music.

During the Rastafari Rootzfest, more history will be created as Rastafari In Inity will be hosting High Times' renowned 'World Cannabis Cup,' an international competition to select the best cannabis strains.


According to Ras Iyah, in partnering with High Times Magazine and other well-known organisations like Trans High Corp and Rastafari In Inity, he hopes to encourage innovation and the application of science and technology within the cannabis industry in Jamaica, by and for the benefit of Rastafari and grassroots communities.

Rick Cusick, High Times associate publisher, is quite elated with the partnership arrangement it has developed with Rastafari In Inity and is quite hopeful that it will be a fruitful exercise.

"We are very excited to finally get a good close look at the many varieties of Jamaican ganja from all over the island so we can pass the results along to our readers and to the world," said Cusick. "The High Times Jamaican Cannabis Cup competition will only be open to Jamaican ganja grown exclusively by Jamaican farmers. The unique judging panels will include traditional Rastafarian experts as well as professional High Times connoisseurs."

Rastafari In Inity Limited is a limited liability company established with a mandate to use non-exploitative business strategies to build a Rastafari-friendly and grassroots-oriented enterprise that is transparent, accountable and respected in the global cannabis industry, while High Times is an international magazine with a monthly circulation of 500,000 copies.