The Case of Cannabis as an Industrial Crop for the Medical Marijuana Potential
Jamaica is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the medical marijuana industry. We must move with a sense of urgency and turn ganja which has been a negative for Jamaica into a major asset creating wealth for our country. In the United States alone the Legal marijuana market is predicted to rise from US$6.7 Billion in 2016 to US$21.8 Billion by 2020.
Canada has built a major industry which is opening up for full legalization next year.
The Dutch ministry of Health is exporting medical marijuana to Canada, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic. Israel which is the largest recipient of United Sates aid has over 12,000 medical marijuana patients and is leading the world in research on medical marijuana.
This is not about smoking a spliff. This is not about walking around with 2 ounces of the weed. This is about building an industry of value- added products. This is about doing research at our universities to create medicines which can help people dealing with major illnesses such as diabetes, epilepsy, pain and many others. One simple breakthrough in any of these areas will contribute Billions of dollars to our economy.
This is about an opportunity for small farmers who will now earn from land which is presently sitting idle. This is about our Tourism industry where Jamaica will be positioned as the medical tourism capital for the world bringing Health and wellness to the world. Yes, people will come to Jamaica and Truly Feel Alright.
Mr. Speaker, I take note that in addition to the pioneering role of Jamaican scientists with the development of Canasol for glaucoma and Asthmasol for asthma, the University of Technology will tomorrow host a Medical Marijuana Integration Day to highlight the social, economic and job creating potential of this industry.
Jamaica cannot afford to miss this boat. Where there is no Vision the people perish so we must change our mindset and get ready for success. We must be bold while ensuring we meet all of our international obligations. In my constituency, I have already begun to lay the foundation to get our farmers ready and to establish extraction facilities to process and create value -add products.
Let us all join together and change our mindset to move our country from Poverty to Real Prosperity.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE POLICIES TO IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY?
Mr. Speaker, productivity improvements must encompass all elements of policy: education and training, regulation, innovation, trade, credit, taxes, social protection and industrial relations practices. All these areas must be subject to continuous reforms and improvements over a sustained period with the main objective being improving Jamaica’s productivity and international competitiveness and produce robust economic growth.
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