Jamaica Will Officially Promote Ganja Tourism


What nation is the most famous for cannabis? Let me ask it another way … What nation is the most famous for ganja? That made your answer a lot easier, I bet? It’s Jamaica, of course, and they are looking to increase tourism by officially promoting their world famous ganja.

The Caribbean island of Jamaica legalized cannabis last year and the country’s Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has been in charge of regulating the new and burgeoning market in the island nation. Although the plant is only legal for medical purposes, the nation allows visitors that do not have a doctor’s recommendation to use cannabis to “self declare” when tourists arrive in the country, which will then allow them to carry up to two ounces of ganja while visiting. They even have plans to have manned ganja “kiosks” at airports and ports for tourists to get their “medicine”.

CLA Chairman Hyacinth Lightbourne told the Jamaica Gleaner last year, “The whole plan would primarily be for people who have a prescription and, in effect, you’re doing it for medicinal purposes with a permit from the Ministry of Health … if they don’t have a prescription, then they can do what we call ‘self-declare,’ and this will allow them to have the two ounces while they are here.”

But, that was only the beginning. Now the country’s Tourism Ministry has officially taken up the promotion and will convene a task force to create a marketing campaign to attract cannabis tourism to the island.

“So, we are going to designate an area and, while I am not creating the policy, I am indicating that within that framework there is going to be discussions,” the nations tourism Minister, Ed Bartlett, told a crowd at a May 5th conference entitled “Cannabis + Jamaica: The Time is Now”. The conference was organized by CanEx Jamaica and included local, international, and regional stakeholders and investors. CanEx Jamaica started in 2016 to promote networking, collaboration, education, and expansion of the legal cannabis market in Jamaica. The Jamaica Observer reports:

Bartlett who, along with St Vincent and the Grenadines Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment Robert Luke Browne, was one of the main government sector speakers at the morning session of the all-day event, said that Jamaica’s tourism industry could benefit greatly from the utilisation of the oil and wraps produced from the plant, as well as its direct medical application.

He said that an area of the south-western coast of Jamaica, running from West End in Negril, Westmoreland, to Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth, would represent a critical area for the development of nutraceuticals as part of the cannabis-enthused experience in tourism.

“This is not to say that there are not possibilities elsewhere, but I make the point that if it isn’t planned, if it isn’t structured, and if it isn’t orderly and managed, and if we are going to create wealth from its expansion and development, what will become of these industries?” Bartlett asked.

Barlett told attendees that the investment in health and wellness is a “requirement” of his ministry’s plan for increased development of tourism. Their plan addresses two issues: absorption of tourism demands by local communities and assisting indigenous populations position themselves to take advantage of the tourist market that will be created.

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