Ministry continues to advocate for inclusion of more farmers in cannabis industry, says Dunn
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia “Babsy” Grange (centre), and Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr Norman Dunn (right), with (from left), Commercial Manager of CBD Wellness, Raihn Sibblies; CEO of JACANA, Alexandra Chong; and reggae musician, Jesse Royal, at an event at Island Village in Ocho Rios, St Ann, on Thursday, April 20, in recognition of International Cannabis Day. Photo: JIS

ST JAMES, Jamaica - The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce continues to advocate for the inclusion of more Jamaican farmers in the cultivation of ganja as part of efforts to develop the sector and tap into its potential economic benefits.

State Minister in the Ministry, Dr Norman Dunn, said the Government’s Alternative Development Programme (ADP) is a key initiative for community groups and small-scale growers to gain access to legal channels in the industry.

“The ADP is a community-centred approach in which participating communities will be allowed to cultivate up to 10 acres of land [and] will be required to sell all of their outputs from the programme to a licensed downstream buyer or authorised permit holders of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA),” Dr Dunn explained.

He was addressing an event hosted by JACANA, at Island Village in Ocho Rios, St Ann, on Thursday, April 20, in recognition of International Cannabis Day.

Dr Dunn further noted that the Cultivator’s (Transitional) Special Permit is also another method being promoted to reduce the barriers to entry for subsistence farmers at the licensed stage.

He outlined that the permit’s regulatory framework is “less rigid” and will allow farmers a period to operate in the industry, while building capacity and accumulating the financial resources necessary to make the application to the CLA for a full cannabis licence.

Dr Dunn said that permit holders will utilise the mother farm concept to cultivate the crop and sell it back to mother farms operated by licensees.

“Recently, the ministry hosted a meeting of several stakeholders within the licensed regime to confer on matters relating to the industry and chart a sustainable development of this important industry,” the state minister pointed out.

“We in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce continue to meet and engage stakeholders across Jamaica from within the various communities, in academia, medical research, businesses and across government… that will advance Jamaica’s distinctive cannabis industry,” he added.

In the meantime, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, said although ganja has long been a part of Jamaica’s cultural fabric, its use must be regulated.

She pointed out that it is through these advanced processes that the negative reputation of the substance will be liberated to “become the foundation of a new Jamaican industry with potential to make a major contribution to the national budget”.

Grange argued that the increased scientific knowledge from cannabis ensures that the growing conditions and the products sold by licensed growers are done under safe and legal circumstances and are dispensed under the condition of the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act passed in 2015.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?