Jamaican Farmers Just Harvested Their First Legal Cannabis Crop

Jamaican Farmers Just Harvested Their First Legal Cannabis Crop

by Chris Moore
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NEWS
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After a century of prohibition, ganja is now growing legally in the island nation.

Photo via Cannabis Training University

Two cannabis cultivators in Jamaica have each separately announced that they harvested the country's first legal weed crop this month. Last week, Kaya Farms announced their first cannabis harvest under the supervision of Augustus Staples, interim Chief Executive Officer of the country's Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA). The newly harvested plants will be now be cured and trimmed before being sent on to Kaya Herbhouse, the company's first retail establishment, and Everything Oily, who will process the plants into oil-based medicines.

This week, Timeless Herbal Care also released a statement reporting that they had just harvested their first legal cannabis crop. Timeless said that they received the country’s first research and development license, and were the first to legally plant cannabis in Jamaica in over 100 years. "This is a momentous day in Jamaica, and a tremendous victory for the global medical marijuana industry," Timeless CEO Courtney Betty said in a statement. "We look forward to processing our plants to providing pure and natural cannabis oils, not only for the Jamaican market, but also for the international export market."

Even though cannabis is a major part of Jamaica's cultural heritage, cultivation and use of ganja was prohibited from the early 20th century until 2015, when the country legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized recreational use. The CLA has received hundreds of applications from Jamaicans wishing to take part in the newly legal industry, but regulators have been slow to grant these official licenses. But now that cannabis growers have finally been allowed to produce their crops, legal ganja sales are not far behind.

Balram Vaswani, chairman of Kaya Farms, said that his company plans to open their first retail outlet by March 10th. The Kaya Herbhouse will include a cafe and wellness center that plans to offer both medical and recreational cannabis to locals as well as tourists. Eventually, Kaya hopes to expand to eight retail establishments throughout the island nation. “I am truly honored as a Jamaican to make the historic step where our country can finally monetize on this industry as Europe, Australia, India, China, and the U.S. have already done,” Vaswani told the Jamaica Observer.


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Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.


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