Green cracks the ganja whip on Cannabis Licensing Authority

Monday, March 18, 2019

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Minister of state in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green has directed the fast tracking of the cannabis licensing approval process, after expressing concerns about the length of time between application and decision.

Green, in one of his first engagements since moving to that ministry, met last week with the heads of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) to bring himself up to speed on the functioning of the authority, the implementation of the Alternative Development Project, and the cannabis licensing application process.

Noting that a significant cause of the delay in the decision-making process was as a result of the due diligence requirements, he promised to engage the CLA external partners “to see if a reasonable time frame could be agreed upon”.

During the meeting, Minister Green tasked the CLA with embarking on a more expansive education programme about the application and licensing process for legal operation in the cannabis industry, to facilitate interested persons and to make the application process more user-friendly.

Minister Green, an attorney at law, noted that the ministry would be moving to incorporate more persons with agricultural competencies, both at the board level and the technical level. One of his critical priorities would be incorporating traditional growers in the legal cannabis industry, he said.

The minister therefore directed an acceleration of the Alternative Development Project, which has targeted the communities of Accompong and Orange Hill, St Elizabeth. The programme is set to be launched at the end of April 2019.

The CLA is one of the agencies that fall under the industry and commerce portfolio for which Minister Green has been given responsibility. The minister reaffirms Jamaica's commitment to have a robust medical marijuana industry in keeping with international guidelines and standards.

Meanwhile, the Ganja Growers Association and the Ganja Growers and Producers Association are continuing their series of islandwide meetings to push the ganja agenda. The next set of meetings will be held tomorrow at 5:30 pm at the House of Dance Hall, 6 Cargill Ave in Kingston and on Tuesday, March 19 at 5:00 pm at the Upliftment Centre, Whitehorses, St Thomas.

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