Jamaica has decided to facilitate the participation of small farmers in the cannabis industry.
The Cannabis Licensing Authority of Jamaica (CLA) announced at the end of June that its “special permit” policy was already at an advanced stage of reflection and that consultations with interested parties had begun.
The CLA aims to reduce barriers to entry into the cannabis industry by granting a two-year “low-cost” cultivation license to small farmers and to assist them in making the transition from these “special permits” to full licenses for the cultivation of medical cannabis.
For the special permit, the CLA proposes that all fees be 50% lower than the current fees for a grower’s permit. The cost of the permit would be $1,000 instead of $2,000, the current cost of a Level 1 grower’s permit that allows the cultivation of cannabis on 4,000 square meters.
The new rules also propose that the applicant for the special permit would still be able to apply for and receive a waiver, deferral or payment plan if he or she still has difficulty paying the reduced fee. Special permit holders would also be able to sell their ganja to another special permit holder, a grower, or a processor who is already licensed.
The president of the Jamaica Licensed Cannabis Association (JLCA), Hardley Lewin, said the proposals are “a big step forward. “We all need to work together,” Lewin said. “It’s a space, it’s an industry
Chief Financial Officer Lincoln Allen also welcomed the initiative.
Trust, commitment, and a shared vision are key to building this industry,” said Allen. “Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire country to build an industry.
Jamaica legalized medical cannabis in 2015.