Addressing the opening ceremony for the University of Technology’s (UTech) third annual Jamaican Medical Cannabis Integration Symposium (JAMECANN) yesterday, he noted that several other countries are “rushing” to take advantage of this “multibillion-dollar global industry”.
Shaw emphasised that Jamaica “cannot afford to miss this boat”, and encouraged all Jamaicans to be “bold and move with a deep sense of urgency” towards tapping into the derivable economic benefits.
He said Jamaica could not ignore the tremendous growth that has taken place globally in the medical cannabis industry, pointing out that he was currently formulating a strategy to help fast-track its development locally.
However, Shaw said the Government was mindful of its responsibility to abide by local and international laws in treating with cannabis.
He underscored the need for a close working relationship to be established between the Ministry of Health and State regulatory agency, the Cannabis Licensing Authority, “because there are clear demarcations there in respect of the roles and responsibilities”.
Importantly, Shaw added, is the need for consensus on the outcomes of this undertaking to develop the medical cannabis industry, while emphasising that public education will be pivotal.
“The more we are able to educate the general public… the greater (I believe will be) the pace of general acceptance. So, it is in that role that I look forward to working with you and others, including our international partners, to make Jamaica the best of the best in the world. Jamaica is building a medical cannabis industry as the rest of the world is doing,” he said.
The two-day event is being held under the theme ‘Merging Science, Spirit and Business’.
The symposium is focusing on several key topics, including the ‘Legislative Implications of the Dangerous Drugs Act (2015)’, and ‘Medical Cannabis Product Innovation’.
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