CLA director lobbys Europe to push cannabis reforms

CLA director lobbys Europe to push cannabis reforms

Observer staff reporter

Friday, June 28, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James —In a move geared towards legitimising licensed cannabis growers and processors under correspondent banking rules, among other issues, the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) is lobbying European stakeholders to keep up the pressure on cannabis-related reforms in their respective countries.

According to director of the CLA, Delano Seiveright, the push for reform on the European front will trickle down to the benefit of small developing states like Jamaica.

“This will bring much-needed benefits to small traditional farmers who are suffering from marginalisation due to complicated laws and regulations brought on by geo-political realities and to foster growth and development in emerging market economies,” Seiveright stated in a release shortly after addressing Cannabis Europa, a conference focused on government policy and business development activities for cannabis in Europe at the Southbank Centre in London, England, on Tuesday.

Seiveright's lobby comes shortly after Audley Shaw — Jamaica's minister of industry, commerce, agriculture, and fisheries announced plans to lobby the United States on the issue of legitimising licensed cannabis growers and processors under correspondent banking rules.

Shaw recently raised the matter in his address on plant medicine and cannabis at the Global Health Catalyst Summit at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

He then highlighted that financial institutions in Jamaica and many international jurisdictions do not allow banking transactions for legally licensed medical cannabis companies because of the restrictions imposed by United States banks in their correspondent banking arrangements.

Seiveright, who was among the 80 speakers to address the over 1,200, largely European citizens at the Cannabis Europa, pointed out that while significant progress has been made which has effectively positioned Jamaica as a pioneer for cannabis reform efforts globally, “much more is needed to be done to ensure the full incorporation of small traditional players who need to be brought into the regulated environment”.

“Major reform, in places like the UK, the wider European community, similar in respects to what has happened in Canada and several states across the United States will help in breaking down impediments related to the UN Single Convention such as banking restrictions, difficulties in accessing capital and so on,” Seiveright contended.

When Jamaica's Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 came into effect on April 15, 2015, new provisions were put in place regarding the possession and smoking of ganja, use of ganja by people of the Rastafarian faith, and use of ganja for medical, therapeutic, and scientific purposes.

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