VIDEO: Proposals to revolutionise medical cannabis industry put forward to Government
...as four more Marigold Herb Houses set for opening across JamaicaSunday, August 18, 2019
BY DURRANT PATE
The principal of one of Jamaica's medical cannabis companies has put forward to the Government a set of proposals to make the burgeoning industry more inclusive while at the same time benefiting all players.
Lloyd Tomlinson, managing director of Marigold Projects has proposed the development of a local medical cannabis trademark backed by the Government of Jamaica and the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA).
He said this trademark would be owned by the Government of Jamaica, which would be licenced to all brands coming out of Jamaica with the seal of approval from the Cannabis Licensing Authority.
Speaking in an interview with SUNDAY FINANCE at last Thursday's opening of Marigold's first retail herb house in Jamaica, under the Sensi Medical Cannabis brand, Tomlinson explained that this regime would usher in “a true partnership between the big companies and small farmers, who are the backbone of the industry for years”. Such an inclusive concept, he argued would “revolutionise the industry”.
He said the arrangement would be similar to what is happening with coffee and the Coffee Industry Board in which farmers are offered certain guaranteed prices. Tomlinson further explained that the trademark would signify that that particular cannabis product is truly from Jamaica and represents both large and small farmers.
According to the Marigold boss, “under that trademark umbrella, larger companies with international connections would have small farmers under their wings, helping them, giving them cannabis strains, helping them to grow the product and buy from them at a guaranteed price, so they can truly benefit from the industry.”
Tomlinson said his partners (Aphria Inc, Canada) have fully endorsed the plan, which was outlined at a meeting he had last week with Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw and his team.
Aphria owns 49 per cent of Marigold Projects, who holds a Tier 3 licence from the CLA to cultivate more than five-acres of land with cannabis for medical, scientific, and therapeutic purposes.
He conceded that while the playing field is opened to all parties, small farmers have a distinct disadvantage in that they don't have the capital to take the process to the next stage. Therefore, it is imperative for the bigger companies to usher them further in the value chain.
EXPANSION OF HOUSES
Having opened its first Herb House at the Pulse Centre, 38a Trafalgar Road, last Thursday, Marigold has set its sights on opening four more herb houses across Jamaica. These herb houses like the one at Trafalgar Road would be fitted with a smoking lounge for on-site consumption, high-end accessories for sale, and feature Marigold proprietary strains of cannabis and brands called Sensi Gold.
The other herb houses are slated for Negril, which is set to open in another few weeks and Portmore, set to open later this year. The herb houses in Ocho Rios and Montego Bay should be open next year pending approval of the licence from the CLA.
Marigold Projects cultivation farm is fully operational, and inventory at opening will exceed 2,700 kgs. The company maintains an additional 20 acres of vacant land in anticipation of expanding its cultivation operations, as well as a 10-acre farm in St Cathrine.