KINGSTON, Jamaica, September 12, 2018 (CMC) – The Jamaica government says it is examining the possibility of linking small marijuana farmers with large processors, who have the ability to convert the plant into a range of medicinal products.
“What I’m working on, is a program where all serious ganja farmers, who want to plant the herb for the formal industry, will have to come together and form a cooperative,” said Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Audley Shaw.
Addressing a youth forum, last Friday, Shaw said the cooperative will then apply to the Cannabis Licensing Authority for a licence, which will give them legitimacy to grow the herb.
He said the cooperative would then link with the large processors within the pharmaceutical industry, who would extract the oil from the marijuana plant “and export it in barrels”, to be used as raw material for medicinal uses.
Shaw said that the “ganja business is not just for the wealthy, who have the capital to do it”.
“I want to build a model in Jamaica with opportunities for many farmers,” he said, telling the forum participants to “get ready to be formal and form cooperatives across the country.
“Get ready to be legitimate, transparent and expose yourself to a formal system, and be part of the growing medicinal ganja business, globally,” he added.
The forum was hosted by the Ministry, in collaboration with the World University Services of Canada’s Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) initiative, and was focused on opportunities for youth in agribusiness.
Shaw said that the government is looking to the younger farmers, especially those who have received formal training, to lead the way in finding solutions to challenges facing the sector.