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Jamaica poised to become the answer to global cannabis shortage, Belize also trying to cash in

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2021. 4:20 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Yahoo Finance reports that Jamaica is positioning itself to become the answer to global shortages of legal cannabis through its push to finalize trade and export regulations for medical cannabis.

In a recently published article, Yahoo Finance noted that Jamaica’s cannabis legislation is now back on track for completion by mid-2021, after suffering major delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation will have an impact on the cannabis market globally, as Jamaica has a considerably lower production cost per pound of marijuana than North American producers.

“In fact, market stresses from COVID-19 have only inflamed a need for cost-effective supply and exposed the reality that licensed cultivation in North America—where producers can pay $1-2 million in licensing fees before planting a seed—is untenable to sustain market growth,” Yahoo Finance said. 

The article drew an example from Massive Therapeutics, a Canadian-Jamaican company ready to begin operations once export agreements are passed, which can produce a pound of marijuana for US $100, while North American growers produce a pound for more than US $400.

Recently, Belize has been looking seriously at enacting similar legislation which could see the country tapping into an industry that the London-based management consulting company Prohibition Partners predicts will be valued at US $39.1 billion by 2025.

As early as December 2020, weeks after the People’s United Party formed the new Government of Belize, Minister of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries Kareem Musa stated publicly that Belize would be taking active steps toward the country’s entry into the global cannabis market.

Musa went on record to note that the current laws governing the possession, use, and sale of marijuana made no sense, as the permission to possess 10 grams for personal use was nulled by the criminality of selling marijuana. In late January, the Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries held a virtual stakeholder consultation, in an effort to further the discussion locally about the economic potential of cannabis for Belize.

Musa also announced GOB’s partnership with Alex Lavin, the president of a US-based cannabis production company called Growth Industries. Lavin will serve as Belize’s consultant for the development of Belize’s cannabis industry, and its integration into the tourism industry.

Notably, the controversial topic has already garnered some negative feedback from faith-based organizations such as the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) who believe that supporting legal drug dealers for economic reasons will prove counter-productive in the long run for Belize, due to the degradation of the country’s moral standing


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