Jamaica is on the cusp of being a central legal transshipment hub for medical cannabis as it gains significant international traction. This is according to Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. Norman Dunn.
He said there is every reason to believe that Jamaica will become a huge part of this “lucrative” market, adding that “the best is yet to come.”
“One significant industry development this year was that, in February, we facilitated… the first legal transshipment of cannabis through Jamaica,” Dr. Dunn said.
“What this has done is to set the stage for Jamaica to become the hub of legal transshipment of cannabis for medical purposes. The quality of Jamaica’s indigenous strains, coupled with considerable local knowledge and Jamaica’s climatic conditions, makes this all a winning combination.”
The state minister added that it was not by coincidence that the island is known for “a lot of firsts” as it relates to agricultural products, citing, as examples, coffee, cocoa, and ginger being “number one in the world.”
“Obviously, there’s something about Jamaica that’s creating all these number ones. These are premium products across the world, not in the Caribbean or in North America but in the world,” he argued.
Dr. Dunn said the island, with its soil type and climatic conditions, has found a “sweet spot” which, if nurtured and handled properly, is bound to attract investors and new stakeholders – both local and foreign.
“The high demand is fueled by an increase in the number of countries which have legalized or decriminalized cannabis, and its increasing acceptance for medical purposes,” he added.
Dr. Dunn said the government is aware of this economic reality and the potential of cannabis and will be approaching the establishment of a viable industry with intelligence, creativity, and responsiveness to the market.
Acknowledging that some people have been wondering why the government is not moving faster to capitalize on the opportunities which the cannabis sector represents, he cautioned against undue haste.
“We are part of several treaties and obligations that we must follow because Jamaica must be known as a rule-based country. We’re a country that believes in the establishment of rules, and by participating in that, you can succeed. So, we don’t need to move outside of that in any haste because we must develop an industry that is viable, sustainable, and for the long term,” Minister Dunn emphasized.