CBD oil to be commoditised in three years, former CLA chair predicts

CBD oil to be commoditised in three years, former CLA chair predicts

Observer staff reporter

Monday, January 06, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, ST James — Former chairman of the Cannabis Licensing Authority Board Dr Andre Gordon is predicting that, like Jamaican coffee and cocoa, the highly touted cannabidiol (CBD) will soon become a commodity in the global market but won't be able to fetch premium price.

For that reason, he advised against investors expending too much capital into producing high-quality distinctive brands.

CBD oil is a product that's derived from cannabis. It's a type of cannabinoid, which are the chemicals naturally found in marijuana plants. But despite its origin, CBD doesn't create a “high” or any form of intoxication that is caused by another cannabinoid — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

“I am going to take a risk and make a prediction to you that while CBD might be very popular and remain so in the US, maybe even in Canada, in three years or so it will be a commodity,” Dr Gordon forecasted.

“So, for us, seek to compete in a market where everything is commoditised just as we have done with our Blue Mountain coffee, with our ackees, with our cocoa. All of these we now sell as commodities rather than a high-quality fine characteristic product to command a premium price,” he said.

There is currently a huge market for CBD oil, which Jamaica is currently preparing to enter. But Gordon, who noted that “the target of a lot of the international industry now is extraction and sale for CBD”, is advising local stakeholders to study the global market and avoid putting all their eggs into one basket.

“The global market is something that we need to understand. The regulators — the Government — needs to understand [that] we need to see where the trends are going and not skew the industry towards producing the kind of commoditised product that will not give the returns that we want to our people,” stated Gordon, who is a consultant to the governments of St Kitts and St Vincent & the Grenadines in the establishment of their cannabis industry.

For instance, he claimed that in Canada the values of a lot of the CBD-producing companies are falling, “some precipitously”.

“Most of them are losing money and CBD is not yet a commodity. What is going to happen after they set up all of this and they have to be giving it away?” he questioned.

He was speaking at a seminar at Rastafari Rootzfest, held recently in Negril. He noted that the CLA is going in the right direction in its bid to get traditional farmers, who were victimised for cultivating the plant, involved in the industry.

“There are tremendous opportunities for the legal ganja industry to provide a lot of wealth to the traditional farmers, and to all the persons. There is enough space for everybody in the industry, but it needs to be done in a manner that's based on vision, that's based on equity, on reparations to those persons who have been victimised and suffered for decades. We can't just move forward and forget what went on,” he argued.

The inaugural Rastafari Rootzfest in 2015 was the first ganja-exempt event to be held in Jamaica. It came after the Government amended the Dangerous Drugs Act and legally recognise the sacramental and religious rights of the Rastafarian community to use and possess marijuana.

The alcohol and flesh-eating-free event, which provides a platform for exhibitors, growers and attendees the opportunity to network with stakeholders in the local and global cannabis community, features seminars throughout the days and live performances during the nights.

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