Jamaica Information Service
KINGSTON (JIS) — A Cannabis Licensing Authority is to be established to regulate the proposed hemp and medicinal ganja industry in Jamaica.
This is one of the provisions of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2015, which is expected to be tabled in the Senate on Friday (January 23).
The Bill seeks to decriminalize ganja for medicinal, religious, and private/personal use.
Making the disclosure while addressing a Jamaica House media briefing, today (January 21), Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, said the Authority will be responsible for establishing a lawful, regulated hemp and medicinal ganja industry.
“The Cannabis Licensing Authority will, with the approval of the Minister responsible for Justice, make regulations treating with (among other things) procedures and criteria for applying for and retention of licences, permits and other authorizations for cultivation, processing, distribution, sale and other handling of ganja for medicinal, scientific and therapeutic purposes,” he said.
The proposed changes to the Act will facilitate ganja being used for therapeutic purposes, as prescribed by a registered practitioner, or for scientific research conducted by an accredited tertiary institution or otherwise approved by the Scientific Research Council (SRC).
The changes will also enable the use of ganja in religious engagements by stakeholders, such as Rastafarians.
Additionally, the amendments will make the possession of small quantities of ganja, amounting to two ounces or less, a non-arrestable but ticketable infraction, attracting a fine payable outside of the court, but not resulting in the possessor attaining a criminal record.