Jamaica’s Senate first passed legislation on Bob Marley’s birthday in 2015 to decriminalize medical marijuana – and on March 10, the tiny island country opened its first dispensary.
Up and running months after being issued a license by the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), Kaya Farms is located in St. Ann, and their facility features the Kaya Herbhouse, Kaya Cafe and Kaya Spa, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.
“There’s marijuana galore – Grape Escape, Love Triangle, 9lb Hammer, Golden Back, Sting-a-ling, and Flo, just to name a few of the varieties of herbs you can get.”
Jamaica’s newest industry is legal for medicinal purposes only, but the Jamaica Gleaner mistakenly reported on Feb. 28 that “Kaya will provide medicinal and recreational ganja to locals and tourists.” While Jamaica may eventually end up selling for recreational purposes – it’s strictly medical for now.
Clearing up any recreational ambiguity surrounding Jamaica’s new medical marijuana program, the CLA issued the following statement in a March 7 press release:
“The Authority would like to make clear that the statement by the Gleaner as it relates to the licencee being granted a licence for the recreational sale of cannabis is erroneous and unfortunate. The Authority would like to further reiterate the fact that all licences granted are for medicinal purposes only and not for recreational.”
In 2015, amendments to Jamaica’s Dangerous Drug Act legalized the licensed handling of “ganja for medicinal, scientific and therapeutic purposes under a licensing regime.”
Still illegal to import or export – or use recreationally – there are five types of licenses currently available through the CLA:
Cultivator’s Licence: Tier 1 – Cultivate up to 1 acre (4,047 square metres) of land with ganja for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes. Tier 2 – Cultivate between 1 and 5 acres (4,047 – 20, 235 square metres) of land with ganja for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes. Tier 3 – Cultivate over 5 acres (20,235 square metres) of land with ganja for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes.
Processing Licence: Tier 1 – Process ganja for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes, including the manufacturing of ganja based products, in a space of up to 200 square meters. Tier 2 – Process ganja for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes, including the manufacturing of ganja based products, in a space of over 200 square meters.
Transport Licence: Transport ganja between two licensed premises in an approved motor vehicle.
Retail Licence: Pharmacy or Dispensary – Sell ganja products for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes. Herb House – Sell ganja products for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes, with a space for immediate consumption by consumers. Therapeutic – Provide therapeutic or spa services utilising ganja products.
Research and Development Licence: Experimental – Undertakes all activities involved in the assessment, study, research, development and testing of products derived from all or any part of the cannabis plant, including the analytical services for own use.
Analytical Services: Provide commercial services exclusively for the determination of any or all of the constituents, characteristics, quality or safety parameters of cannabis or cannabis products by accepted and/or accredited methods.
“For chairman and ‘Chief Ganja Officer’ of Kaya Farms, Balram Vaswani, opening the first medical marijuana dispensary in #Jamaica was a dream come true.” —- Kaya Farms now open for business – First #cannabis dispensary in Jamaica https://t.co/enioU05t9M
— Čulture Dôctor (@SonjahStanley) March 17, 2018
“Opening the first medical marijuana dispensary in #Jamaica was a dream come true,” according to Balram Vaswani, proprietor of Kaya Farms.