Carl Lender

Jamaican officials are developing health and wellness tourism plans that include cannabis, part of an overall strategy that could generate $5 billion by 2021, according to travel industry trade publication eTurboNews.com.

Under the plan by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica would move away from the all-inclusive, mass tourism model and become “a destination with a difference.” He has already developed a Health and Wellness Network tasked with defining policies for the cannabis-centric health and wellness subsector with plans for “a full roll out” by the end of next year.

“We believe that we can do product differentiation and we can do a level of product diversification which enables us to be attractive to all demographics,” he said during his address at Canex Jamaica, a cannabis industry conference.

Bartlett said the global market for cannabis tourism is worth about $494 billion and Jamaicans “want a piece of it,” noting that Colorado saw a 175 percent tourism increase after legalizing recreational use. He suggested that Jamaica’s industry would allow tourists a “rustic luxury” and that the subsector is “a very important part” of the island nation’s economic future.

Cannabis is decriminalized and tourists who hold medical marijuana cards can buy and possess up to two ounces under looser laws enacted by the federal government last year.

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