Ganja should fund the high costs of education

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

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The medical marijuana industry is a prime opportunity to increase and invest in educational funding according to Doug Halsall, CEO of Advanced Integrated Systems.

“If the business of medical marijuana can be efficiently managed and the taxes go directly to education, we will start the journey out of a Third World-ism,” stated Halsall

He was adressing addressed attendees of the 2nd annual public forum on Wednesday, August 30, 2017, hosted by the Mona School of Business and Management at The University of the West Indies under the theme “The Business of Medicinal Marijuana: Profit or Loss?”

“I believe that unless education is treated as an investment rather than an expense, as capital rather than recurrent, with very bold return on investment goals, Jamaica will remain a Third World country. If we continue to spend as little as US$150 per capita on secondary education we are not going to get there,” explained Halsall.

For him, the nation is unfortunately behind, at such a critical time and with such a product. “The whole marijuana business is just the beginning of the benefit chain that Jamaica can have, and it's really a shame that at this stage of the development of medical marijuana Jamaica is so far behind,” added Halsall.

For over 20 years, AIS has supplied the island wth health technology solutions, designed to improve business processes, and promote innovation and development of the health sector.

Amongst those present at the public forum were: researchers, business interests, marijuana experts, and scholars who shared insightful research and innovative strategies to help bolster the burgeoning local marijuana industry; whether through investing, growing, research, or product development.

The interest in and legalisation of marijuana in some countries in recent years has propelled the conversation locally, especially as it relates to Jamaica's role and future opportunities in the industry. A key takeaway from the conference was the need to act speedily and strategically.

The need for a better regulation and a Cannabis Industry Advisory Board was also addressed. Such a board would comprise all major stakeholders who understand their role and have a true sense of the urgency and implementation as the value of a dollar today is not the same tomorrow.

— Hanniffa Patterson

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