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Licenses to grow and sell cannabis are being issued throughout Jamaica

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) is giving startups and seasoned ganjapreneurs an opportunity to break into the metamorphosing cannabis market in Jamaica by approving licenses for influential brands and companies. Without a license, growers, distributors and sellers are unable to legally perform any cannabis-related transactions.

The CLA will regulate legal cannabis and hemp in Jamaica

Fully supportive of cannabis regulation, the CLA is making an effort to encourage proper processing, transportation, research and development and, of course, cultivation of the herb. Furthermore, the CLA is focusing on retail businesses that necessitate licensing.

This is great news for cannabis companies such as dispensaries and cultivators across the country. By obtaining cannabis licensing through the CLA, they can carry out transactions with other holders of medical cannabis licenses. Transactions made outside of this closed-loop system are not allowed.

LASCO could become an important contributor to Jamaica’s economy

Image result for lasco jamaicaIn addition to helping companies procure pot licenses, the CLA is aiding businesses in their quests to dominate the cannabis market with new product creation and strain development.

One such company that has benefited immensely from the CLA’s help is Lasco Manufacturing Ltd.

This January, Lasco teamed up with United Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research and Development (CRD) in a business venture valued at $103 million. Through this venture, Lasco has established itself as a serious cannabis brand.

Various cannabis medicinals are being produced by the company, including cannabis-infused liquids, capsules, balms and sublinguals. Lascelles Chin, founder and executive of Lasco, also recently announced the formation of a brand new company called Lasvac.

Aside from these victories, of which would not have been possible without obtaining a cannabis license in Jamaica, Lasco recently developed a “very balanced” strain of cannabis suitable for medical use. The name is “King’s Breath” and it contains balanced levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).

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A brief overview of the history of cannabis laws in Jamaica

When you think of Jamaica, you may envision Rastafarians lighting up joints under palm trees laden with coconuts. However, Jamaica has its own cannabis laws, just like every other country on the map.

Although Jamaica’s environment is ideal for yielding potent plants, what with the climate being tropical year-round and the soil being nutrient-rich, the Jamaican government has always objected to cannabis cultivation.

East Indian laborers, who referred to cannabis as “ganja” were responsible for introducing the plant to Jamaica. This was some time in the mid-1800s and pot popularity started to spread from thereon. Despite the ‘ganja law’ or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1913, smokers were regularly integrating the use of cannabis into their Rastafarian religious practices when the 1930s hit.

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Legendary Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley enjoys a joint

Cannabis consumers in Jamaica started speaking more openly about the herb in the 1960s and 1970s, inspired largely by Bob Marley, who praised the plant and often smoked it while making music.

The cannabis laws in Jamaica really made an impact on the cannabis community in 2015. Possession of even the smallest amount was punishable under the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2015. 

Something good came out of this, however. It led to the birth of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) – an official regulator of the cannabis and hemp industry in Jamaica.

Nowadays, police officers are quite relaxed about cannabis, with some officers not prosecuting people who are in possession of two ounces. Adults can legally grow no more than five plants per household. This doesn’t mean that every police officer is quite as laid-back in Jamaica, however.

Those who do punish cannabis law offenders will be fined the equivalent of $4. While this might not seem like a lot of money, it is to Jamaicans, who earn about a third of this amount per hour based on the standard hourly minimum wage.

More companies throughout Jamaica are expected to follow in Lasco’s footsteps by gaining approval for cannabis licensing from the CLA.

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Licenses to grow and sell cannabis are being issued throughout Jamaica