CLA issues 50 cannabis licences in two years

CLA issues 50 cannabis licences in two years

Senior staff reporter

Sunday, December 08, 2019

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The four-year-old Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) reached another major milestone last week by issuing its 50th licence for medicinal use of the drug.

The 50th licensee is Outlier Biopharma, a Montego Bay-based company, which provides consulting and advisory services to companies that wish to expand capacity and lower their operational cost, while improving their return on investment.

In making the announcement, the CLA acknowledged that, as at October 31 this year, it had issued a total of 49 licences. There are a further 16 applications at the granted stage that will be issued on the payment of the respective fees and security bonds. In addition, there are 259 applications at the conditionally approved stage.

This means that the CLA has verified the applicants as “fit and proper” to be part of the local cannabis industry, and the applicant can now confidently begin to build-out their facilities to be inspected for their licences to be granted and issued.

The Jamaica Observer was also informed that, as at October 31, through the licences issued, the cannabis industry had created 425 jobs, and 78 tripartite agreements have been signed facilitating trade among licensees. Since the beginning of the financial year (April to October 2019), trading among licensees was valued at over US$825,000.

In terms of import/export regulations, the CLA said that in September it completed detailed review of the draft Import/Export Regulations for the cannabis industry. This included garnering feedback from industry stakeholders.

The comments and requested amendments will be considered by the Ministry of Justice, for the necessary amendments to the first draft document. These recommendations for amendments will be sent to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC) for action and a second draft will be prepared thereafter for consultation.

On enactment of these regulations, the CLA will have jurisdiction, or the statutory authority to grant licences and permits for import/export of inflorescence/flower and extract/resin.

This will make Jamaica one of only 10 countries worldwide with an export regime and poised to confirm its place as a leader in the cannabis industry, internationally.

The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, was established in 2015 under the Dangerous Drug Amendment Act, (DDA) with a specific role to establish and regulate Jamaica's legal ganja and hemp industry.

The CLA's job is to create regulations to guide the development of an orderly legal ganja and hemp industry in Jamaica, for the use of the plant and its by-products for medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes; and to ensure that regulations created and activities within the industry are in keeping with Jamaica's international obligations, as well as to issue licences, permits and authorisation for the handling of hemp and ganja.

The Authority operates Licensing and Applications Division, as well as an Enforcement and Monitoring Division. Working together, these divisions will ensure that applications are appropriately reviewed and licenses issued to qualified applicants, and that licensees are held accountable in accordance with the terms and conditions of their licence.

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