Kaya invests $33 million in medical cannabis dispensary in Falmouth

St Vincent location in the works

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter

Friday, February 22, 2019

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — The historic town of Falmouth, the parish capital, welcomed Kaya Herb House's $33million investment in a medical cannabis dispensary during a glitzy opening ceremony on Wednesday.

Trelawny is now on the cusp of becoming the newest destination and resort area of Jamaica.

Balram Vaswani, chief ganja officer of Kaya, noted that the opening of the Falmouth facility brings the sum to some $150 million, that his company has so far invested in Jamaica's fledgling cannabis industry.

In March of 2018, Kaya Farms became the first legal medical cannabis dispensary to open its doors in Jamaica with the opening of a facility in Drax Hall, St Ann.

But, according to Vaswani, the opening of the Falmouth branch will be followed by Kaya's opening of a third cannabis dispensary in St Vincent by the end of the year.

“We have already signed an agreement with the government of St Vincent, the SVG Invest, to start the research and development and from there we go into cultivation, and they are issuing licences this year to start building. So by the end of the year we will start selling in St Vincent,” Vaswani disclosed.

The chief ganja officer of Kaya said locals and visitors are the customers who are targeted for the company's offerings at the Falmouth venue.

“When we chose Falmouth it was a natural succession. Obviously today (Wednesday) you can see by the two cruise ships — we have Royal Caribbean with 5,700 passengers, we have Disney with 4,000 passengers, that's 9,700 — plus you have the locals it makes sense to focus on a model that would work between the tourists and the locals alike,” Vaswani told reporters.

He added that during the refurbushing exercise, great care was taken not to compromise the Georgian architecture on the historic building, owned by the Pinto family, which houses Kaya's lastest expansion of his business in Falmouth.

“It's an historic building and everything was redone to its original condition. So building in that culture I think you will find a different feel of Falmouth in it “ he said.

Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Colin Gager, during his address at the opening ceremony, argued that the opening of the facility will be a major boost to wellness tourism in the historic town of Falmouth.

“I commend Kaya for being the first of its kind in the Caribbean, leading the way in medical marijuana. Kaya Herb House comes to Falmouth at a time when Falmouth is pregnant with tourism prospects. And this opportunity to open this dispensary will add to Falmouth being a destination of choice,” Mayor Gager argued.

The opening ceremony apart, the day's activities also featured live entertainment at the new venue, highlighted by performances from Ky-Mani Marley and Beenie Man.


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