Jamaica News: The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) is exploring the establishment of a transitional permit to facilitate the ease in which small farmers can enter the medicinal cannabis industry.
Speaking at a JIS Studio 58A session on November 28, Director of Enforcement and Monitoring at the CLA, Faith Graham said this is one the initiatives being finalised to increase the number of small farmers operating in the industry.
She noted that the transitional permit will allow farmers an 18-month period where they can begin operating in the industry, without the full licence.
“With the transitional permit, they would not have to do a full build-out that is typically required of the regular cultivators so in that way the cost to them would be reduced. That would give the small farmer a chance to come, get started and make some money so that they can transition into a licence from that permit,” she explained.
Miss Graham told the JIS News that until the transitional permit is established, there are other options available for farmers who are seeking to join the growing industry.
“Our parent ministry, Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has initiated the alternative development programme which has given the traditional farmers that window to come into the regulated space. The traditional farmers are those that culturally have been growing ganja ….but it has been illegal,” she said.
Miss Graham noted that under the alternative development programme, the traditional farmers can now move into legal cultivation.
She stated that the farmers have responded positively to the moves by MICAF and the CLA to make the industry inclusive.
“They want to get in so they write to the authority seeking guidance on how to enter the market. We encourage persons to form friendly societies and or cooperatives so if they can’t afford it on their own, they have that provision. We also have the option of waiving fees or deferring fees,” she added.
Source: JIS News