Updated: Mar 16, 2022
The Jamaican government is lending a helping hand to local farmers, providing incentives to participate in their budding legal medical cannabis industry.
ByCannabis News ZA - 26/02/2020
New plans have arisen from regulators of the Jamaican cannabis industry, aimed at helping local farmers enter the growing cannabis market. The local government wants to turn illegal black market farmers into legal growers, contributing to the economic growth of their country.
The start of 2020 saw them announce these plans, and they’re doing it by expanding their Alternative Development Programme (ADP). This plan intends to provide local farmers with the tools and resources they will require to enter this market – and this includes cash injections.
In an interview with Cannabis Wire, Floyd Green, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries has stated that “What we will be doing in 2020, is looking for more community groups of traditional growers that we will engage and provide the technical support for them to transition into the medicinal marijuana industry,”
The first phase of this plan has been a success, with the Jamaican government injecting almost $100 000 into the small village of Accompong, in the East of Jamaica. Since this injection towards the end of 2019, these farmers have already produced 20kgs of legal flower on communal land as a contribution to the medical marijuana market.
However, Jamaica is well known as a cannabis hub and the containment of illegal cannabis is still an ongoing battle. Roughly 37 000 acres of illegal bud is grown and distributed on a yearly basis. The purpose of this new plan is to ultimately close down this black market by providing capital that many don’t have access to in order to start legal businesses. Instead of finding investors or moving into a different line of work, these farmers will be able to apply their skills and generations of knowledge to a legal industry.
A meaningful and direct integration of traditional and Rastafari farmers is largely seen as a means to an end when it comes to the ongoing battle with black market in cannabis. Not to mention the potential it has for an economy in a world where the demand for cannabis is increasing rapidly.
Jamaica still has issues and hurdles to jump over, such as ways of getting their product into the international market. Medical marijuana was legalised in 2015, but it took two years for regulatory powers to issue business licenses, with another year following before they had their first legal cannabis crop. However, these new initiatives show great potential and hope for the locals and the future of Jamaican cannabis.