Audley Shaw, Minister of Industry, Agriculture and Fisheries, says there are plans to establish a centre in Jamaica to further advance plant-based medicine research.
Mr. Shaw told JIS News that a programme of cooperation involving Jamaican scientist and businessman, Dr. Henry Lowe; Dr. Julius Garvey, the son of National Hero, Marcus Garvey; and Director at Harvard University Medical School in the US, Dr. Wilfred Ngwa, is being finalised for the associate research centre's establishment.
Mr. Shaw noted that of just over 100 plants which are known and used for medicines, 51 are indigenous to Jamaica.
He highlighted that Dr. Lowe and others have developed plant-based medicines in Jamaica that are now world renowned, and are presently submitting more applications for further development of additional plant-based medicines to the Food and Drug Administration in the US.
Mr. Shaw said a recent study by Harvard University scientists, which showed that cannabis can potentially help cancer victims, is very significant.
He said he first became aware of the project while attending a conference on plant medicines, hosted by Dr. Ngwa at Harvard in June.
The Minister said, given Jamaica's unique history with respect to cannabis and many other plant-based medicines, several benefits will be derived in the future.