Cannabis Authority looking to grant conditional permits by year end
JAMAICA— The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) expects to grant conditional licences by the end of the year for the growing and processing of ganja for medicinal and therapeutic purposes and for research and development. Chairman of the CLA Board, Hyacinth Lightbourne, told JIS News that the entity has received 89 applications. Of the number, 25 are for cultivating ganja, 18 for processing, 14 are for research and development, eight for transporting, while the remainder are for retailing. The applications are now being processed. After all the paperwork has been submitted, we have to evaluate the information given as well as conduct a thorough background check on the applicants”, Lightbourne pointed out. The CLA consults with key partners and agencies such as the Financial Investigation Division, Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Ministry of National Security, among others, in order to do an effective verification and due diligence.
She told JIS News that the granting of conditional approval means that the CLA would have conducted a satisfactory background check and the applicant is then required to implement the necessary measures to get the actual license to enter the industry.
“We understand that not everyone will be able to invest in some of the basic requirements, such as infrastructure, closed-circuit television (CCTV) or even tell if they have the full financial support from a lending institution prior to knowing if they are qualified. So once the checks are complete, the CLA gives the conditional license”, she pointed out.
After receiving the conditional licenses, growers must prove that they have the right to use the land on which they propose to cultivate the crop, while transport operators must have proof of ownership or certified evidence that they are permitted to use the vehicle with which they plan to transport ganja.
Processors must satisfy all requirements under the Food and Drugs Act and the Standards Act, and must be registered with the Bureau of Standards, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. People who propose to carry out research and development must satisfy the authorities that they are qualified to provide the requisite analytical services proposed, while retailers must be registered pharmacists, therapists and herb houses.The CLA was established in 2015 under the Dangerous Drug Amendment Act, (DDA) with a specific role to establish and regulate Jamaica’s legal ganja and hemp industry.
It must also ensure that regulations created and activities within the industry are in keeping with Jamaica’s international obligations.
The growing and processing of ganja for medicinal and therapeutic purposes and for research and development in Jamaica. (Cannabis Digest)