Are we protecting the J’can cannabis industry?
The Cannabis Licensing Authority has granted a licence to a company to import Canadian cannabis into Jamaica. (Photo: AP)

Dear Editor,

We are writing to express our deep concern regarding the importation of cannabis products from Canada to Jamaica.

We believe that importation of these products may put Jamaica at risk for dumping, which is strictly regulated by international law.

As per the regulations set forth by the World Trade Organization (WTO), dumping is considered unfair trade practice as it undermines fair competition and causes harm to domestic industries.

Article VI of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 explicitly authorises the imposition of a specific anti-dumping duty on imports from a particular source, in excess of bound rates, in cases in which dumping causes or threatens injury to a domestic industry or materially retards the establishment of a domestic industry.

Furthermore, we would like to draw attention to the fact that one of the main costs of production for cannabis is electricity, which is one of the most expensive commodities in Jamaica.

The electricity rate in Jamaica is among the top five most expensive in the world, at $0.39 per kilowatt, whereas Canada only pays $0.09 per kilowatt.

In addition, there are import duties and taxes on all other items needed for production, with no tax exemptions for the cannabis industry.

This situation puts the Jamaican cannabis industry at a significant disadvantage and makes it impossible to compete with Canadian indoor, greenhouse/light deprivation, and outdoor-grown cannabis products.

Therefore, we strongly urge the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) to take the necessary steps to protect the Jamaican cannabis industry by imposing heavy anti-dumping duties and taxes on cannabis products imported from Canada.

We also recommend that CLA applies the same stringent testing for pesticides, fungicides, and heavy metals as required by the Ministry of Health and/or Bureau of Standards, all at the cost of the importer.

Additionally, we suggest that European Union Good Manufacturing Practices (EU GMP) certification is made a requirement to ensure that the quality of the products imported meets international standards.

We believe that it is imperative to take these measures to avoid becoming a dumping ground for inferior products. We hope that the CLA will take the necessary steps to protect the Jamaican cannabis industry and promote fair competition.

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