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Brian Shamblen

Jamaica Licenses First MMJ Cultivator & Producer

Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority has granted its first approvals for the nation’s medical cannabis industry, as Everything Oily Labs Limited was issued a processing license and Epican was issued a license to cultivate, the Jamaica Gleaner reports.

Hyacinth Lightborne, chair of the CLA, indicated that three other applications were also approved and those companies were “completing their requirements,” while another 57 applicants are “in the conditional approval stage,” and 209 other applications “are currently being processed.”

Agriculture Minister Karl Samuda commended the CLA for its diligent work in the process noting that the agency is ensuring that Jamaica’s products will “meet the standards of the international community.” However, he also warned that regulators needed to “move swiftly” in the application process while ensuring that the products “meet the standards of the international community” so the nation does not “miss the boat.”

“So I ask that [the CLA] be very careful but at the same time be very swift in the discharge of their responsibilities,” he said.

According to the CLA website, current regulations in Jamaica do not allow for cannabis import or export; however the nation’s Chief Medical Officer does have the authority to grant the export and import of cannabis “preparations” such as extracts and tinctures. In addition to allowing medical cannabis production and use, the 2015 amendments to the nation’s Dangerous Drugs Act also allows for expungement of some cannabis-related crimes.

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