Authored By: Nadia Howe

© Nadia Howe

Minister of Ministry of Sector, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, lately lauded Cannabis enterprise, Jacana, for generating a multi-million-dollar investment in the cannabis sector as the initially nearby entity to export cannabis flowers from Jamaica.

It was additional reported by New Cannabis Ventures on February 28th, 2019 that Jacana has completed the initially-ever international export of Jamaican medicinal cannabis flower, securing a number of international licenses and permits to date.

The export was reported to be linked to the enterprise raising an initial $20 million to cultivate, create and distribute certified healthcare cannabis options that supply all-natural options to the artificially manufactured merchandise in the market place.

There remains 1 challenge with this export there does not appear to be in existence a law in Jamaica supporting the export of cannabis flowers.


Status of the Law in Jamaica

In 2015 the law decriminalized possession of two ounces or much less of ganja. The common which means of this decriminalization is that possession of this quantity or much less is no longer a criminal offence which a particular person can be arrested or detained for or that will outcome in a criminal record. Jamaica is signatory to different Conventions or treaties such as The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Visitors in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 (“Conventions’). To stay compliant with these Conventions, the Jamaican government has committed to a healthcare, therapeutic and scientific ganja sector. To guarantee compliance with these Conventions, the law designed the Cannabis Licensing Authority (“CLA” or “Authority”) to regulate the cannabis sector and challenge licenses for ganja made use of for healthcare, therapeutic or scientific purposes. Numerous amendments have been created to the law, on the other hand for this write-up, the subject of export is the major concentrate.


Export Provisions

The amended law defines “Ganja” as like “all components of the plant cannabis sativa…” All components of the physical cannabis plant are as a result governed by the amended law.

The amended law states that it is the CLA (with approval of the Minister of Justice) that will have the energy to make regulations for the “handling” of ganja for healthcare, therapeutic or scientific purposes. “Handling” is defined as like exportation.

Regulations have been designed beneath the CLA on the other hand these regulations do not govern export. Additional regulations concerning export of the flowers or other components cannabis plant have not but been designed. On the CLA site beneath regularly asked concerns, this is additional supported exactly where it is stated that “the Regulations passed by the Authority nonetheless do not let for the export of ganja.”

The query arises then no matter if there exists a different legal avenue to export the flowers or other components of the cannabis plant.

The amended laws states that no offences in relation to export will apply to the handling of ganja in accordance with a licence, permit or other authorization issued beneath the amended law or any other law. The other applicable laws are the laws that govern the Ministry of Wellness. The laws of the Ministry of Wellness classify the chemical compound identified in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol, (“THC”) as a controlled drug that the Minister of Wellness may perhaps challenge a permit for to export. Prima facie, it may perhaps seem that this statutory provision has designed a signifies of exporting beneath the law by way of the Ministry of Wellness, on the other hand, such an exception would not apply to cannabis flowers or any element of the cannabis plant for that matter. This is considering the fact that these laws defines “drug” as “…any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or represented for use in the diagnosis, therapy, mitigation or prevention of a disease…” The export of THC as a medicinal oil for instance or as forming element of a mixture of substances is arguable beneath the Ministry of Wellness. Exports of the flowers of the cannabis plant do not fall beneath the legislative jurisdiction of these laws and as a result export permits can’t be granted for cannabis flowers beneath the Ministry of Wellness.


To safeguard the burgeoning medicinal cannabis sector of the Caribbean, it is vital to retain the integrity of the separate processes, like the export method. Export regulations at present do not exist, and it is submitted that continued exporting of cannabis flowers or any other cannabis by-solution beneath vague statutory provisions not necessarily intended for such purposes muddies the waters and creates ambiguities in a sphere that is currently rife with worldwide legal issues. It remains vital to build and adhere to a cohesive, effectively rounded legal framework to retain integrity inside the international cannabis marketplace.


About the Author

Nadia Howe is an lawyer specializing in Caribbean Cannabis Law and Intellectual Home.

She may perhaps be reached at [email protected]