Lascelles Chin, Chairman of the Lasco Group of Companies, Delano Seiveright, Director of the CLA and Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis
The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has sought to reassure farmers and investors that adjustments are being made to plans and strategies to allow Jamaica to get the health and economic benefits from ganja.
The assurance came after several farmers raised concerns on day one of the CanEx Business Conference and Expo in Montego Bay, St. James on Thursday.
Lascelles Chin, Chairman of the Lasco Group of Companies, asserted that Jamaica has the capacity to plant more crops than California and Colorado, the American states at the forefront of the ganja industry. He added that Jamaica also has the labour and expertise, however, he said "the expertise is not expert enough" so more training is required for Jamaican farmers.
He commended the CLA for its efforts, but argued that more needs to be done.
RJR News sought a response from Delano Seiveright, Director of the CLA, who said there are a number of issues that are still being addressed, such as a challenge with banking. But he said a lot of progress has been made and the industry is improving.
With more than 500 applications and 22 licenses granted so far, local farmers may be wondering what to expect.
Mr. Seiveright said some aspects of the emerging industry are still unclear. Still, he argued that what is certain is that the industry will "move in the direction of liberalisation; and once it continues to liberalise globally, anybody who gets in the business here in Jamaica at the early stages will be very successful."
Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis has told international delegates and other attendees at the CanEx Jamaica Business Conference and Expo that he welcomes investment in the multi-billion dollar ganja industry.
He asserted that the cannabis industry is sustainable and will be able to provide "well-paying job opportunities for our citizens, our scientists, and certainly those who are involved at other levels of the trade."
However, he cautioned that the investments must be orderly and conform to Jamaica's laws.