Looking to jet off on vacation soon? Well, if you enjoy tropical beaches, rastaman vibrations, and plentiful herbs, it seems as if Jamaica might just be the next travel destination for you. The country’s government has been hard at work over the last couple of years, reformatting their cannabis laws to enhance the Jamaican experience. Here’s a few reasons why a trip to Jamaica should be on every vacationing tokers to-go list.
Small Fine for a Good Time
While advancements have come, there is still the possibility ofo fines that can come about cannabis possession. Luckily, for tourists, these potential penalties are quite lax. If a person carries around less than two ounces (56 g), they can be fined 500 Jamaican dollars, which equates to about $4.50, with no legal consequences. Any more than that, however, is considered trafficking and can result in criminal charges.
Get It Straight Off the Plane
In an attempt to integrate their strong cannabis culture into their prevalent tourism industry, Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) is working to implement cannabis kiosks into the country’s airports and seaports. These kiosks will allow travelers to obtain marijuana permits straight off of their plane or ship, allowing them to self-declare their medicinal need for marijuana. The plans for these airport kiosks come just a year after the country moved to decriminalize cannabis possession, allowing tourist and residents alike to possess two ounces without serious penalty.
“It would primarily be for people who have a prescription and, in effect, you’re doing it for medicinal purposes with a permit from the Ministry of Health,” CLA Chairman Hyacinth Lightbourne said. “If they don’t have a prescription, then they can do what we call ‘self-declare’, and this will allow them to have the two ounces while they are here.”
Rastaman Quality Control
In Jamaica, the plant is closely intertwined with the culture, religion music, and overall branding of the country, which causes the Jamaican government to take their ganja game very seriously. Trip-taking tokers enjoy fllying down to Jamaica due to the quality control the country has over their marijuana products and brand.
The country is looking to capitalize on their position as the weed capital of the world, driving them to ensure great quality with their cannabis products. In order to keep their brand and tourism market at peak value, the Jamaican government is doing what they can to ensure quality.
For instance, the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) has increased their efforts to protect Jamaican ganja either as a geographical indicator, through copyright, or a patent, which will essentially legitimize the country’s marijuana market. Even the family of Bob Marley is gettinginvolved with the weed business, releasing their own line of cannabis products under the name “Marley Natural”.
Irie Vibes for a Long-Term Stay
Ever since April 2015, Jamaican residents have been allowed to cultivate, harvest, and consume up to five plants within the confines of their own home. As many know, marijuana use is quintessential to both Jamaica’s culture and the Rastafari religion, but up until 2015, the country had extremely repressive cannabis laws.
In fact, the new legislation will allow Rastafarians to grow and transport their marijuana with no limits on quantity, as long as they don't sell it openly, and only consume it in their places of worship. These Rasta’s will be able to sell their product at festivals or concerts, but they will have to request temporary authorizations to do so.
Not only does this increasingly accepted stance on cannabis enable Jamaican residents to grow and smoke as they please, but the new laws are also ushering in a new wave of tourism to the island. It seems that the marijuana market in Jamaica, which is already renowned for its integration with Jamaican music and culture, will become a very profitable career for many residents in the near future.