Cannabis Licensing Authority to issue 100th licence by end of 2020/21 fiscal year

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Cannabis Licensing Authority to issue 100th licence by end of 2020/21 fiscal year

Sunday, August 30, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) says it is aiming to issue its 100th licence before the end of the 2020/2021 fiscal year.

Director of Research Development and Communications at the CLA, Felicia Bailey, said the authority is focused on achieving this goal through a reduction in the application processing time.

“The CLA started the 2020/2021 financial year with a renewed vision to be the global benchmark for excellence in the medical cannabis industry. Our mission is to effectively regulate the legal handling of ganja and hemp and issue licences, permits and authorisation to enable the development of a sustainable medical cannabis industry in Jamaica,” she stated.

The authority has issued 67 ganja licences to local companies and individuals since its establishment in 2015. In addition, there are 21 applicants at the 'licence granted' stage of the process.

Bailey noted that the CLA's Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for processing time is now six months, which is a reduction compared to the more than eight-month period that previously existed.

“The CLA continues to try to review and process applications in a timely manner to meet this KPI. After reviewing the process and making changes, some applications are now being processed within three months,” she stated.

She further noted that the authority's revision of its application processing time to six months is among the shortest periods across the world including countries such as the United States of America, Canada, Columbia and Australia.

“In the last few months, the CLA has already started to surpass this target; we have been able to process some applications within two and three months from their complete applications, up to the point of the licence being issued. This is solely based on the readiness of the applicant to progress through the stages of the process,” she said.

The 67 licences granted by the CLA include 28 for cultivation, 23 for retail, 11 for processing, four for research and development and one for transportation.

The CLA is an agency under the portfolio of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries that was established in 2015 under the Dangerous Drug [Amendment] Act with a specific role to establish and regulate Jamaica's legal cannabis and hemp industry.

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