First Look

GGPJ Welcomes the Issuing of CLA Licenses

0 | 2017-11-22 11:22:00

The Ganja Growers and Producers Association welcomes the issuing of licenses and conditional approvals by the Cannabis Licensing Authority, albeit these coming after a very slow and shaky start. As stated by the GGPJ at the recent Timeless Herbal Care, Everything Oily Joint Press Conference held on Thursday 9th November, there is enough space for numerous players in the cannabis industry and that the CLA should do everything possible within the scope of the regulations, to fast track the issuing of licenses.

We are recommending that a numbering system be put in place and that outside of the acknowledgments for submissions, all applicants get a monthly status report. The GGPJ also wishes to point out that it is critical for full and timely public disclosure of all approved licenses and conditional approvals.
This would help prevent any suspicion of favouritism, the need for personal connections, under-the table transactions or alleged secret deals, all presently being noised about in the cannabis space and although we have no documented evidence of such, such discussions are neither healthy nor productive.
The Law of Unintended Consequences: *
The GGPJ’s position as declared at the  launch of the Cannabis Commercial Council on Sunday 29th October, 2017, is that whether so designed or not, wittingly or unwittingly, it is socially, morally, culturally and economically wrong that those persons constituting the small and traditional ganja cultivators, a number of them being of the Rastafarian faith, who were hounded, beaten, prosecuted, arrested, convicted, criminalized for growing ganja and laying the basis of the Jamaican ganja industry, are being left behind.

The Association has always advocated a ground-up approach, limiting cultivations to one acre in the first instance, rather than a corporate start, which unfortunately, is today’s reality.

The GGPJ will shortly request discussions with the CLA to propose that a socio-economic survey / evaluation be carried out on all applications, including those already receiving licenses and conditional approvals. This exercise will ascertain the facts on ownership and participation in the regulated cannabis industry.
Provisional Ganja Licenses for Traditional and Small Ganja Farmers 
With the delay of the proposed Alternative Development Programme, the Ganja Growers and Producers Jamaica, will, aggressively recommence its advocacy for provisional licenses to be given to the traditional and small ganja farmers to immediately bring them into the regulated ganja space.
Our position is that they should be given one year amnesty to allow them to reach the required standards and compliance to regulations, with cultivations limited to a maximum number of plants, to be determined, during this phase. We would wish for this affirmative action, that is the amnesty and transitional period, to commence from January 1, 2018.
This would allow the Cannabis Licensing Authority and the security forces to have a data base of those individuals willing to transition to the regulated cannabis industry and also to provide the requisite support to that group.
Proposed Comprehensive Policy and Growth Strategy for the Cannabis Industry
Finally, the Ganja Growers and Producers Jamaica, the newly established Cannabis Commercial Council and other stakeholders will meet this week to finalize comprehensive proposals to the Government and CLA , to include Jamaican citizens being made aware of the channels for them to have access to legal cannabis, as well as the start of an export regime and a CBD protocol, both of which we would wish to see commence by January 1, 2018.

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