Health ministry takes steps to regulate medical marijuana

Monday, August 21, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Health (MoH) in an effort to regulate the marijuana industry says it has taken steps to train medical practitioners and other officials to dispense the drug.

“To date 39 physicians, 22 pharmacists, two scientific researchers, and 17 National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) staff members have been trained by NeuroPsych Services,” the ministry said in a release today.

The first training workshop was held July 16, followed by one in Montego Bay on July 23. Pharmacists have also been invited to participate in the training workshops, the ministry said.
The next set of training programmes will take place in October.

According to the ministry, to be able to recommend/prescribe medicinal cannabis in Jamaica, registered physicians must first be certified in the use of medicinal cannabis.

“Physicians completing the accredited course offered by NeuroPsych Services receive a certificate of registration to recommend medicinal cannabis in Jamaica and will appear on the ministry's register, which will be shared with the Pharmacy Council and pharmacies in Jamaica. This certification is renewable every two years. Pharmacists completing the course receive a certificate of completion.

Physicians with similar and verifiable training elsewhere can also become registered by the Ministry of Health to prescribe/recommend medicinal cannabis in Jamaica. The certification is supported by the Medical Association of Jamaica and the NCDA,” the ministry said.

In additional to those regulations, the ministry informs that proposed MoH regulations are being finalised and will be submitted to Cabinet within the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, nine medicinal cannabis products have been registered with the MoH, three of which were approved in June 2017.

The ministry said guidelines have been implemented to allow for a smooth registration process for products manufactured both locally and overseas, and applications are currently being accepted by the Medicinal Cannabis Unit for medicinal cannabis.

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