New bill paves way for Jamaica’s ganja industry

| 27/01/2015 | 1 Comment
Cayman News Service

Senator Mark Golding

(CNS): Jamaica’s minister of justice tabled the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2015 in the country’s senate on Friday, paving the way for the decriminalization of the drug’s use for medicinal, religious and personal use. The amendments to the act, brought by Senator Mark Golding, will make the possession of small quantities of ganja, amounting to two ounces or less, a non-arrestable but ticketable infraction, attracting a fine payable outside of the court, but not resulting in a criminal record.

Golding said it is anticipated that the Lower House will move expeditiously to give passage to the proposed statute following approval by the Senate, and the debate is expected to take place in about two weeks.

The historic legislation will also enable Jamaica to exploit the economic value of ganja derivatives. Minister of Science and Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell said the country’s government was committed to making Jamaica a world leader in the product.

Many countries and some states in the United States were more advanced than Jamaica, he said, but they intended not only to catch up but to pass them, based on the research and development already done in this area. “My ministry, through the Scientific Research Council, will be playing a critical role in relation to medicinal marijuana,” Paulwell said.

The first medical marijuana company in the country will go public later this year and as soon as the law is enacted it will be launching a number of therapeutic ganja products to treat nausea, pain, appetite stimulation and motion sickness, as well as an arthritic cream and an anti-inflammatory cream for muscle pain.

The medical marijuana market in the United States alone is expected to reach US$9 billion this year and the legislative change in Jamaica could pave the way for a significant new industry for the island nation.

The amendments to the Jamaican law will not only facilitate the use of ganja for therapeutic and medical purposes but will enable its use for religious reasons, especially by Rastafarians. The bill also makes provisions for the creation of a Cannabis Licensing Authority to regulate the proposed hemp and medicinal ganja industry.

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  1. Driftpat says:

    My question is this, will those tickets for possession above 2 oz. require a forensic report on the substance, or, will the police officers judgement on the substance be taken as evidence supporting the ticket?

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