By Rosheika Grant
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) is anticipating major growth in the local medicinal cannabis industry in the new fiscal year.
“We expect the growth… to be exponential because we anticipate that the import-export regulations will be promulgated within the next financial year, and that should be a major push, as it will further open the international market’s access to Jamaica,” director of research development and communications at the agency, Felicia Bailey.
“We should have more applicants, which should translate into more persons becoming licensees and expanding the industry,” she added.
The ministry is in receipt of the first draft of the regulations, which, when enacted, will give the CLA jurisdiction or the statutory authority to handle requests for import/export of inflorescences/flowers and extracts/resins.
In addition, Jamaica will be one of ten countries in the world with an export regime.
Meanwhile, the entity is reporting that trade between licensees was valued at more than $100 million (US$840,083.62) from April 2019 to January 31, 2020.
Bailey told JIS News that the value of trade does not account for sales at the local retail herb houses, which she noted: “Is likely to have the highest markup. There are 59 licensees currently operating in the medical cannabis industry.”
“We have 26 cultivation licence holders, 19 retail licensees, nine processing licensees, four research and development licensees, and one transport licensee,” she told JIS News.
More than 300 conditional approvals have been issued since the agency’s establishment in 2015.
The CLA is an agency of the ministry of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries established in 2015 under the Dangerous Drug [Amendment] Act with a specific role to establish and regulate Jamaica’s legal cannabis and hemp industry.