Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority has issued its first conditional licenses for medical cannabis cultivators and processors in the island nation, according to a Jamaica Observer report. The licenses were approved for two small cultivators, and one small processing facility. Another cultivation license was considered – however, the owners could not establish that the venture was “substantially owned or managed by individuals ordinarily resident in Jamaica” as required under the nation’s laws.
According to the report, the CLA had been under pressure from stakeholders to issue licenses – having announced the regulatory scheme in May after passing the reforms in February 2015. The agency said the approvals require extensive verification and that the processes in Colorado and Uruguay initially took about two years.
“At the outset, the authority mapped the application process and noted that the processing of conditional approvals could take up to six months provided all relevant information was supplied,” CLA Chairman Cindy Lightbourne said in the report. “In several instances, information has been requested by the Authority to help verify applications and any delay by applicants in providing this requested information adds to the processing timelines.”
In September, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett estimated cannabis would help the island nation move away from the all-inclusive, mass tourism model, expecting “a full roll-out” of a cannabis-centric health and wellness tourism subsector by the end of this year.