JAMAICA | Ganja Growers Assn. endorse concerns of Parliamentarians
KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 9, 2021 - The Ganja Growers and Producers Association Jamaica (GGPAJ) says they have noted the statements made by members of parliaments at a recent meetings of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) in Gordon House, regarding the Ganja Industry.
In a statement yesterday the Ganga Growers welcomed the concerns of the legislators, noting that these positions are long overdue and only touch the surface of some of the deeper issues affecting the industry.
The GGPAJ observed that the MPs have accused the State and the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) of ignoring small farmers and having no real interest in ensuring that they were being allowed to participate in the legal ganja pie as counterproductive and unworkable regulation shave prevented their inclusion to date.
MP Heroy Clarke referred to the failure of the Accompong (St. Elizabeth) and Orange Hill (Westmoreland) pilot projects as an example which should have encouraged small farmers to farm under special suitable conditions tailored for them as the original programmes were not helping these farmers.
MP Fitz Jackson supported MP Clarke's position and explained that the CLA's activity has created great mistrust and disappointment with farmers across Jamaica.
There has been a 66% decline in applications and licenses granted as well as declines in revenue from applications and other activity regarding the production of ganja.
MP Lisa Hanna shared similar concerns about the industry once more and at the previous (PAAC) meeting in parliament, Juliet Holness MP for East Rural St. Andrew raised the alarm that some investors were losing on their investments and were not able to export ganja products as they believed they would have been able to do from a long awaited export policy.
Mrs Holness suggested that " the strain of Jamaica' ganja might have been taken and used to establish successful cannabis businesses in other jurisdictions”.
We agree with the issues raised in Parliament, which predates the COVID-19 Pandemic and which should not be used as a deflection of the exclusion of small and traditional farmers.
These positions and assessments of the industry were also raised by the GGPAJ and now it is time for our organization which is a member of the newly established Cannabis Industry Development Task Force to reach out to the MPs and carve a new formula for the development of ganja in Jamaica, one which will incorporate the legislators, farmers, herbalists, Rastafari and all other citizens in need of medicinal, therapeutic and health & wellness and other treatments.