The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) in Jamaica says the trade between licensees has been valued at US$1.34 million during the period May 2019 to July 2020.
Director of Research, Development and Communications at the CLA, Felicia Bailey, said that the value of trade quoted only covers that among licensees and excludes trade at local retail herb houses.
She said the more than J$200 million (One Jamaica dollar=US$0.008 cents) traded over the period reflected an improvement compared to the similar period in 2018/2019.
“This is a major increase and as we add more licensees, the level of trade grows exponentially month to month. There has been a slowdown since the pandemic, but we expect that the trade will continue to grow,” she told the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’.
Bailey said the CLA is committed to facilitating licensees operating at their full potential, even as they deal with the impact of the pandemic.
“In response to COVID-19, there are several changes that the Authority made to ensure that businesses in the industry could continue to operate and be viable. We allowed our licensees to be able to do online sales, kerbside pickups and increased the remote monitoring of our licensed facilities,” she said.
Approximately US$74,447.44 was traded last month between licensees and the CLA said it has granted 67 licences since 2015, including 28 for cultivation, 23 for retail, 11 for processing, four for research and development, and one for transportation.
The CLA has also issued 315 conditionally approved licences from the 712 applications received since the Authority’s establishment in 2015.
“Conditional approval is the stage where the Authority allows the applicant sufficient time to put in place the requisite infrastructure to support the granting of the respective licence. A pre-licensing inspection is usually done by our enforcement and monitoring division to verify the suitability of the site before the granting of that licence,” Bailey said, adding that the Authority is committed to facilitating the growth and development of the industry.
“The CLA is working on several key projects, including the amendments of the interim regulations, the finalisation and promulgation of the regulations of the import/export, transit and transhipment of cannabis,” she added.
The CLA is an agency under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries that was established in 2015 under the Dangerous Drug [Amendment] Act (DDA) with a specific role to establish and regulate Jamaica’s legal cannabis and hemp industry.