Shaw calls on ganja farmers to produce CBD oil

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, November 28, 2019

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BIG WOODS, Westmoreland — The Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw is lashing out at the widescale importation of CBD oil, a product of the marijuana plant, for which Jamaica is reputed to be the home of the best species.

CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis, which has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety and seizure-suppressant properties.

“You see in pharmacies all across Jamaica a thing called CBD oil. Well guess what? All of them are being imported from abroad. So CBD oil, which is for your health, both internally and for external application, is a health item. So why now since we can produce these oils in Jamaica, why should we be importing all of our CBD oil? That don't make any sense!” Shaw argued.

He expressed that under his watch Jamaica will eventually produce the best quality medicinal hemp oil globally.

“I am not in the wholesale importation of medicinal oils, CBD oils of various types that we can produce in Jamaica. So we have the best ganja in the world, guess what, we are also going to have the best medicinal hemp oil in the world as well. We have the best ganja and God has given us microclimatic conditions in such a way that it is so unique,” Shaw declared.

He was speaking at the official ground-breaking ceremony of the Virtudes Company licensed US$1-million medicinal hemp farm project in the Big Woods section of Darliston, Westmoreland, last week.

Shaw moved quickly to dispense fears that unlike industrial hemp, medicinal hemp will not pose a cross pollination concern in the local marijuana industry.

“I want to make it absolutely clear that there is a difference between industrial hemp and medicinal hemp. A lot of mischief and misinformation is making its way around, and I want to make it absolutely clear that what we are encouraging in Jamaica through the Cannabis Licensing Authority is not industrial hemp. Industrial hemp is the type of hemp that comes in male and female form, and that is the one that can be destructive to our ganja,” Shaw declared.

He noted that the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has established an up to 10-mile buffer zone between medicinal hemp farms and ganja farms.

“We are establishing also protocols that relate to a four to 10 miles buffer between a medicinal hemp site and a formal ganja cultivation site,” he noted.

He added: “We will equally have frequent monitoring by our environment and monitoring officers of the Cannabis Licensing Authority to ensure compliance with the policy and the absence of male or hermaphrodite hemp plants. All hemp cultivated sites currently registered by the authority are part of a phased approach to allow for data collection, analysis and any potential negative impact on our ganja industry.”

For his part, founder of Virtudes Company, Jamiel Jameison, said that he is committed to the Jamaican community and helping people improve their quality of life.

“I was inspired by the benefits of hemp and its natural attribute to help different health conditions. due to the fact that cannabis is deeply rooted in the Jamaican culture everything that we are doing is for Jamaica and the communities within Jamaica,”Jameison stated.

“I couldn't have done this on my own, so I appreciate everyone that has been instrumental in helping us to bring this project to fruition. Virtudes hemp farm will be introducing another innovative business venture under the cannabis umbrella to the local market as the factory will produce hemp by-products such as oils, lotions, scrubs and other wellness products in mid 2020. The journey has just begun but it is well sweetened.”


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