IN JAMAICA: Cabinet approves 16-member Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), which the Government has promised will be set up to regulate the hemp and medicinal ganja industry in Jamaica.

 BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS Senior staff reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com  Tuesday, April 28, 2015    
CABINET has given approval for the 16-member Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), which the Government has promised will be set up to regulate the hemp and medicinal ganja industry in Jamaica.
Cabinet approves 16-member Cannabis Licensing Authority
Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding, who made the disclosure in an interview with the Jamaica Observer yesterday, said members are to be formally notified, and that the industry, investment and commerce; and science, technology and mining ministries were making arrangements for their accommodation.
"At this point, we want them to start the ball rolling [and] once they are notified a meeting should be held," Golding said.
The authority is one of the provisions of the recently enacted Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2015 'Ganja Bill', which decriminalises marijuana for medicinal, religious, and private/personal use. The CLA will have powers to make regulations for the procedures and criteria for applying for licences and permits as well as other authorisations for cultivation, processing, distribution, sale and other handling of ganja for medicinal, scientific and therapeutic purposes.
GOLDING… small farmers will
 be part of the process
The members were selected by ministers across eight ministries, in addition to representatives from the Attorney General's Chambers; academia; and civil society groups, inclusive of faith-based organisations.
In the meantime, the justice minister said small farmers should rest assured that they will be part of the process, as the Government fully intends for the rules regulating the sector to enable and allow participation by small farmers.
"It is expected that that intent will be borne in mind. I expect it will take a few months to develop that framework, and we are engaging a consultant to assist them (the CLA)," Golding said. more

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