By Chanel Spence
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) is projecting an increase in exports of cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic purposes during the current 2022/23 fiscal year as demand for the local product increases in the global marketplace.
Of the 156 export authorisations issued since 2018, 107 of them were granted during the last financial year.
“What this says to me is that there is an indication that this young industry is finally finding its footing in the global marketplace and facilitating international trade,” said CLA chairman, Levaughn Flynn.
“[Also] the export and import regulations are very close to being finalised [which] will strengthen the legal cannabis trade between Jamaica and countries across the globe that demand our cannabis,” he noted.
Flynn was addressing a ceremony for the issuance of the 100th licence for the handling of cannabis in Jamaica to Pure Jamaica Limited’s Pharmaceutical Division, Seven-10, at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in New Kingston on May 11.
He noted that more than 700 individuals have received employment through activities generated by the 100 licensees.
The CLA Chairman said that the entity continues to progress in its vision for the development of the cannabis industry.
“That vision speaks to economic enablement, contributing to good public health goals and equal opportunity, especially as it relates to the grassroots farmers,” he pointed out. Among the improvements are the engagement of horticultural experts in the CLA’s Cannabis Specialisation Unit. “These specialists provide guidance on good agricultural practices and other agricultural-related support to the licensees,” Flynn pointed out.
Additionally, the Authority has established a set of standard operating procedures to allow conditional approval of a licence in two months and has completed 92 percent of the process in achieving ISO 9001 certification for its quality management of services.
“As it relates to the regulations, the Authority has submitted recommendations for amendments to the Dangerous Drug Act regarding the duration of a licence, activities facilitated under a licence and changes in the security requirements,” he informed.
The entity is also drafting Hemp Regulations for the safe and effective coexistence of the cannabis and hemp industries and a strategic framework for medical cannabis tourism and the nutraceutical sector.
The CLA began operations in 2016 and issued its first licence in October 2017.
The Authority has distributed export authorisations to more than ten countries, including Australia, Germany, Israel, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.