The cannabis plant is obviously a big part of the culture in Jamaica. Cannabis is consumed for religious purposes in Jamaica, in addition to medical and recreational purposes. Few countries on earth, if any, are as revered for their quality of cannabis as Jamaica is.
With that being said, Jamaica clearly has a rightful spot at the front of the line when it comes to the emerging cannabis industry. The cannabis industry is spreading all over the globe, and some countries like Canada are reaping the rewards of international cannabis commerce.
Unfortunately, Jamaica has struggled in some ways to try to navigate the cannabis industry at the international level. One major hurdle that Jamaica has run into is banking. Several times industry and government officials in Jamaica have cited inadequate access to international banking services as hindering the growth of Jamaica’s cannabis industry.
Jamaica is trying very hard to be an international leader in the cannabis industry and specifically to boost cannabis imports and exports. International commerce is very difficult without adequate access to banking services. Fortunately, that has not dampened the spirit of government officials in Jamaica. Per Jamaica Information Service:
Director of Research Development and Communications at the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), Felicia Bailey, says the agency is committed to facilitating the import and export of cannabis until the import/export regulations are promulgated.
Under the Interim Measures, licensees can export cannabis inflorescence/buds and extracts from Jamaica to jurisdictions across the world. CLA licensees have exported to countries such as Canada, Australia, Israel, Zimbabwe and the Cayman Islands.
“Getting into the global space is what we are aiming for, as becoming global players is very important, and that is why we are doing all that we can to ensure that our licensees have that ability to export and they have been taking advantage of that opportunity,” said Ms Bailey at a recent JIS Think Tank.
Obviously, the global demand for authentic Jamaican cannabis is enormous. Entrepreneurs in Jamaica should be able to take full advantage of changing policies in many countries regarding cannabis, and in the process create jobs, boost the local economy in Jamaica, and raise public funds via tax revenues and licensing fees.
Legal international cannabis sales are still in the infancy stage by all measures, and Jamaica is not the only country experiencing growing pains. The rules and regulations regarding international cannabis commerce are largely being written right now, and in an odd scenario in which cannabis is still prohibited by various international treaties. Bumps and hurdles are to be expected.
The growing pains will likely continue for Jamaica and other countries throughout this decade, but eventually the dust will settle and the regulatory framework for imports and exports will become more stable. Once that happens, Jamaica will hopefully have taken its rightful place in the legal cannabis industry and be a true international powerhouse.