Despite the popularity of the Rastafarian movement throughout the world and being renowned for their ceremonial marijuana use, this plant has not been legal in Jamaica for almost a hundreds years.
Jamaicas first medicinal marijuana company, Medicanja, launched this year against a backdrop of reinvigorated debate around ganja law reform among leading policymakers. The renowned Jamaican scientist Dr. Henry Lowe, a leader in THC studies for medical purposes, is running the company, with the University of West Indies and the University of Technology jointly funding the facility.
In addition to studying the scientific benefits of marijuana, Dr. Lowe says the company will produce CBD-based medical products, which fall under legally accepted medicinal use of the ganja plant. Lowe says the plant extract can be used to treat psychosis and severe pain, as well as mid-life crises in men.
Even with the medicinal values of this plant put aside, the legalisation of marijuana in Jamaica would create an enormous boom for their economy, inviting tourists to visit by the thousands. However with medicinal marijuana alone making upwards of US$2.6 billion each year, legalisation could dramatically transform this third-world country.
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