Business opportunities in the growing multimillion dollar cannabis industry could open up soon to entrepreneurs in Jamaica. The country has approved a bill that decriminalizes the possession of marijuana for the first time in 100 years and brings the promise of medicinal marijuana sales. Jamaica’s Cabinet has approved the bill, meaning the country’s Rastafarian and island citizens could have the legal right to smoke cannabis if it gets the Parliament’s approval later this week.
The bill also outlines a plan to create a licensing authority for the farming, distribution and sale of the product for therapeutic and medical purposes. However, the bill proposes that smoking marijuana in public spaces should remain banned.
Colorado’s Cannabis Global Initiative (CGI) has been working with the country for over a year to help create the regulatory framework to legalize cannabis in Jamaica. “We are so pleased to have had a hand in helping Jamaica bring real cannabis reform,â€ says CGI’s President Wanda James (read Marijuana Inc.: Growing Opportunities for Black Businesses). “My husband and I have thought of Jamaica as our second home for over 20 years.Â We are proud to see this day of acceptance of this medicinal plant.Â This is also a day free from the issues surrounding prohibition, such as high incarceration rates and lack of revenue for Jamaica.â€
Industry veteran restaurateurs, James and her husband, Scott Durrah, have been offering Simply Pure cooking classes to private clients who want to include pot in their meals. Kicking it up a notch, the couple has opened the Simply Pure Cooking School, certifying chefs in how to cook with cannabis. In the works is a culinary cannabis excursion to a high-end resort in Jamaica this year.
“The work that Jamaica’s government has done to bring this to fruition is extraordinary.Â The vision for cannabis reform that has led to decriminalization and medicinal legalization in this country provides the opportunity for financial benefit for the country and people of Jamaica. It also decreases their dependency on outside funding sources such as the International Monetary Fund,” James says.
The Cannabis Global Initiative isÂ dedicated to assisting with the sustained growth, regulation and development of the cannabis industry for municipalities, policymakers, the community and other cannabis-related entities in local, national and international markets. James and her team orchestrated discussions and informational meetings with Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Ganja Law Reform Coalition, the Jamaica Labour Party and the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Task Force.