However, according to the GGPAJ, the industry can still be rescued and executed as an inclusionary income generating enterprise for thousands of Jamaicans.
The declaration from the GGPAJ’s Joint Executive and Seventh Ganja Stakeholders Meeting, held on Saturday 13th June 2020, maintains that “this acknowledgment of failure is an indisputable fact, despite the success of a few big pocket CLA licensed operators.
A statement from Ganja Growers yesterday, said the realization that the local cannabis industry was a failed experiment for the most part, was arrived at by stakeholders in the industry more than a month ago at a ganja industry review consultation.
According to the GGPAJ, “our position has nothing to do with the departure of some major Canadian companies from the Jamaica cannabis space.”
The Ganja Growers and Producers Association has failed in our advocacy to have the industry more inclusionary and accessible to small and traditional farmers as the major plank of the industry,” the statement said.
In addition, it said “In spite of our consistent efforts we have failed to adequately protect the ganja industry.”
The organization explained that “apparently, hemp cultivations which have been given access to hundreds of acres of government owned lands and which can put the Jamaica ganja industry to serious genetic risk, will be permitted under far less restrictive and expensive infrastructure licensing requirements than licensed ganja cultivations.”
The GGPAJ noted that the present JLP Administration, has not shared the Association’s vision for a ‘ground up’ industry, and has cemented the industry as a prohibitive and restrictive one, with its draconian type relegations.
The Ganja Growers explained that “the Cannabis Licencing Authority, CLA has failed, if their main achievement being heralded is the granting of a total of sixty licences up to May 2020, to perhaps no more than twenty-five companies and individuals in totality. The CLA exists therefore to enforce the unworkable, restrictive, bureaucratic and draconian regulations.”
“We are not in a blame game, but the facts are that the present government in particular, the Parliamentary Opposition and indeed Parliament, must all take responsibility for continuing the industry in this over-regulated and draconian manner which is stifling the very essence of a local ganja industry.”
They concluded that the failure also encompassed the many missed timelines for the export licences and the failed implementation of the Alternative Development Programme which was designed to fast-track smaller farmers into the industry.
- Countries: Jamaica