Development of the regulations represents the first steps towards establishing a successful and globally competitive medical marijuana industry in Jamaica.
The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015, which became effective on April 15, provides for the creation of a Cannabis Licensing Authority, to develop the regulatory framework for industrial hemp as well as ganja (marijuana) for medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes.
It is also responsible for the issuing of licenses, permits and authorisations in keeping with said regulations.
Speaking at a press briefing held at his New Kingston offices today (Aug. 13), Minister Hylton said while work on the regulations has recently started, the process is being guided by some general principles.
“First, is that the policy, governance and regulatory framework must be lean, evidence-based, and market-driven. Second, is that the Government will ensure that the rights of traditional and spiritual users and growers are also protected and taken into consideration during this development process,” Mr. Hylton said.
He noted that the policy and regulatory framework is likely to present positive incentives for the legitimate operators, in the form of access to markets and technical support, and strong sanctions for those who choose to remain outside the law.
“The regulations will ensure congruence with the country’s international obligations in respect of the global narcotics and drug trade,” he further noted.
Minister Hylton said the various entities and stakeholders involved in the process are working diligently and have been meeting with the consultants to ensure that, “as a country, we can achieve the delicate balance between adopting global best practices and adapting these to our own cultural and historical realities.”
The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act also permits the use of ganja for religious, medical, scientific, and therapeutic purposes, and provides for the granting of licences for the development of a lawful industry for medical ganja and industrial hemp.