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Foreign invasion

...as another overseas company gets provisional cannabis licences in Jamaica

BY DURRANT PATE
Observer Business Writer

Friday, October 16, 2020

The significant potential of Jamaica's legalised medical marijuana and hemp industry is resulting in a foreign invasion, as another overseas company has entered the fray in getting provisional licences to do business here.

US-based provider of hemp consumable product lines, CBD Unlimited, has received provisional approval for two licences from Jamaica's cannabis and hemp industry regulator, the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA). CBD Unlimited, which previously traded under the name Endexx Corporation in Arizona will be operating in Jamaica through its international subsidiary, Go Green Global Enterprises, Inc (Go Green Global).

The company has received a herb house license and a tier-2 grow licence, joining the growing list of foreign companies taking advantage of Jamaica's legalised medical marijuana and hemp industry. Among them United Cannabis, through its joint venture with Jamaica-based Cannabinoid Research & Development and Star Buds, an internationally-operating cannabis retailer has opened its first ganja dispensary in Jamaica, featuring a deli-style buying experience for its customers and clients.

OCHO RIOS HERB HOUSE

The retail “herb house license” will allow Go Green Global to fully open its store in Ocho Rios on Jamaica's north coast. The store is located at the Taj Mahal Retail Mall directly located in the vicinity of the Cruise Shipping Port, where all the cruise liners and tourist ships arrive in the island.

In justifying the Ocho Rois location, Go Green Global points out that, “foot traffic during tourism season is extraordinary in this location.” However, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the tourism industry in Jamaica with the anticipation of tourism and cruise liners, the company reports that returning to normal is building in Jamaica.

“Resumption is expected to begin before year end, and the store is fully prepared to open and meet the demand,” Go Green Global stated in a statement released this week. The second licence is a “tier-2” grow licence, which will allow for marijuana cultivation and distribution within Jamaica.

As the company looks to continually increase its international footprint, it points to the fact that the receipt of provisional licence approval illustrates that it has surpassed significant hurdles and has persevered through these very challenging times in the international market.

EARLY STAGES REVENUE GENERATION

With this milestone, Go Green Global says it is positioned to generate significant revenues in the early stages of the legal cannabis market in Jamaica. Long term, the company will seek to distribute its products internationally as export laws become established.

With the approval of the provisional licences, Todd Davis, chief executive officer and chairman of CBD Unlimited, is reporting that the Jamaican operations will be a launch pad for going into several international markets. According to Davis, “with our Jamaican subsidiary, we have the ability to break into several international markets.”

He reminded that back in 2018 the company announced that it was pursuing multiple licences in Jamaica to establish a vertical market to grow, process, transport, dispense, sell, and export its entire array of products, both current and future. “We are pleased to report that this hard work is proving fruitful as we expand our international footprint with this provisional retail and grow licences,” Davis remarked.

In confirming the CLA's approval of the two conditional licences, its director of Research, Development & Communications, Felicia Bailey, told The Caribbean Business Report that at this stage of the process Go Green Global is required to fulfill the requirements of the respective conditional approval letters.

She points out that “this involves building out their facilities so that they are fit for purpose. After conditional approval stage, then there is granting of the licence, followed by issuance.” To complete the licensing process, the applicant must pass a pre-licensing inspection and thereafter upon passage, the licence is granted with payment of requisite licence fees and security bonds.

The entity may also enter into a payment arrangement with the CLA, as allowed by the interim regulations.