Educational seminars to dominate Rootz Fest

Regional

Educational seminars to dominate Rootz Fest

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, December 12, 2019

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NEGRIL, Westmoreland — In an attempt to position local ganja cultivators to benefit from the opportunities opening up in the burgeoning cannabis sector, educational seminars will be the central focus of the fifth staging of Rastafari Rootz Fest scheduled for Long Bay Beach Park in the resort town of Negril from Friday, December 20 to Sunday December 22.

“The fact is that the majority of our people here, even those who have been involved in cultivating herbs over the period of years are not abreast with the level of science and technology that is being applied to the industry internationally. If we are to access the international market with our product, then we have to know what's going on, and that's the real reason for the seminars,” noted Ras Iyah V, head of Rastafari in Inity, promoters of Rastafari Rootz Fest.

“It is also to see how together we can organise and mobilise to ensure that our grass roots people benefit in a significant way from the industry.”

Ras Iyah V noted that there will be a good mix of local and international speakers, including Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries JC Hutchinson and state minister Floyd Green.

International speakers will include neurosurgeon Kim Betesh of Oaksterdam University, California, who will be focusing on business; Dr Anthony Hall, one of five medical doctors in the state of Florida who has been licensed to prescribe cannabis to patients; Dr Lackisha Jenkins, a former chair of California Ganja Growers Association; Charlie Nesson,a law professor from the Harvard University; representatives from the Canadian Assembly of First Nations, as well as representatives from the indigenous community of Mari, New Zealand.

“Representatives from the Government of Panama are also coming to learn from Jamaica and Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), how we went about doing what we did.”

Also scheduled to speak are: Omar Thomas, Dr Kamila McDonald, Debra Barrett, Annette Henry, Vicky Hanson, representatives of the CLA, among others.

Sunday evening will be highlighted by a reasoning on Rastafari, the Caribbean region, and the rights of indigenous community “and the way forward”.

The evening which will close off with drumming, will also highlight the finals of the Ganjamaica Cup — the competition among growers and producers of ganja and its byproducts. The scientific aspect of the judging will be carried out by the University of Technology (UTech), Jamaica.

The first two nights of the event will feature live entertainment with nseveral artistes including Chronixx, Mystic Revealers, Richie Spice, Ken Boothe, Jesse Royal, Warrior King and Samory.

Rastafari Rootz Fest was established as part of aggressive lobbying in Jamaica for legalisation of ganja and its use by Rastafarians.


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