14875946061_ff6a3a0385_kJamaica is widely known as the place where you are supposed to roll a blunt and enjoy the vibes. But the substance is still illegal on the island. The Chairman of Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), Hyacinth Lightbourne has announced that authority hopes to supply conditional licenses by the end of 2016. These licenses will allow persons to  grow and process marijuana for medicinal, therapeutic, research and development purposes.

Lightbourne has stated that 89 applications for licenses have been received thus far . Of the 89,  25 are cultivators, 18 have applied for processing, 14 for research and development, 8 for transportation, and 24 for retailing.

She said, “After all the paperwork has been submitted, we have to evaluate the information given as well as conduct a thorough background check on the applicants.”

The process of being issued a license includes the CLA, who consults with key partners and agencies such as the Financial Investigation Division, Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Ministry of National Security, doing a background check where the applicant has to implement the certain measures in order to enter the industry. Growers must show their right to use the land on which they will be conducting cultivation of the crop, while transport operators must show proof of ownership or certified evidence of their permitted use of vehicles which they plan to transport their product.

The CLA organization was formed in 2015 through the Dangerous Drug Amendment Act, (DDA)  to establish the much-anticipated marijuana and hemp industry in Jamaica.

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Marijuana©Global Panorama/Flickr

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