The predatory perils of cannabis legalization in Jamaica

Medicinal marijuana markets present a major economic opportunity for Jamaica. Without steps to combat inequities, traditional ganja growers will be left behind
NACLA Report (US)
Tuesday, September 26, 2023

cannabis cultivation jamaicaJamaica revised its ganja laws to build a legal medicinal cannabis industry with the hopes of exporting to the world. Many assumed that Jamaica, and the historically marginalized traditional ganja growers, including the Rastafari, would finally be able to cash in on the green gold rush in an industry one venture capital firm called in 2018 “the most compelling opportunity in the history of capitalism.” Today, it may come as a shock to some that the island infamously associated with prolific cannabis cultivation and consumption reported a shortage in 2021 and recently became an importer of Canadian cannabis. As a result, the most vocal opponents of Jamaica’s cannabis reforms are no longer the police or conservative church congregations, but the traditional growers and Rastafari themselves. How could such a seemingly transformative opportunity “go up in smoke” so quickly?