Despite having the reputation of the land of ganja, Jamaica is nothing like we imagine it to be. The country has introduced draconian laws on the matter of marijuana use to get rid of the stereotype. However, the image of Rastafarian culture and illegal marijuana dealers is hard to overcome. Yet, it seems that now the country has decided to change its approach and benefit from the cannabis industry.
The country has set off on the way to making profits. This fast-developing industry proves to bring millions of dollars to the states that legalize marijuana. Besides, the country already has to deal with the Rastafarian population. So now, instead of shunning people, Jamaica has decided to make peace with them.
Last year, Jamaica already decriminalized the possession of small amounts of weed and legalized the medical use of marijuana. The new laws are aimed to boost the country's economy, whose growth rates are very low. Jamaica has added marijuana to its methods of development in hopes to follow the example of such U.S. states as Colorado and California.
As a result, the latest conferences with the country's governmental officials and business giants included various marijuana growers and even the representatives of the Rastafarian culture, among which there was the notable leader First Man, whose speech on the worldwide benefits of cannabis at the CanEx conference was a surprising addition to the formal meeting. The man claims that the world needs a bridge between all of our nations, and it is obviously marijuana.
However, nobody today is sure how the industry will evolve because, according to the UN convention on drugs, the legalization of marijuana on the federal level is considered illegal. Yet, the country does not want to lag behind the U.S. or Canada while both countries are edging towards marijuana legalization.
Right now, we are all at the beginning of the post-prohibition era, so it is still unknown where the real market and money lie. The most work is still to be made. Jamaica legalized medical marijuana only last year. The number of granted licenses for marijuana research is still very small.
One of the main concerns of the legalization is the possibility of industry monopolization. Big money may play its role and leave both the farmers and the country's economy exactly in the state they were before.
Jamaican entrepreneurs are already interested in the new developing business. Varun Baker, for example, has already created an app Ganjagram that contains full information on the laws regarding marijuana in the country.
Another prominent businessman, Bali Vaswani, has already received a research license and grown his first legal cannabis crops. Moreover, Vaswani has some experience in the field. The man created Marley Brand Coffee and several other brands. He already worked in the Colorado marijuana industry. The businessman has enough skills and capital to dominate the market in the future.
Meanwhile, small farmers and some Rastafarian representatives do everything they can to slow the development of big corporations. Kadamawe Knife, a Rastafarian academic, devoted his conference speech to bashing the Cannabis Licensing Authority.
Despite the ongoing arguments regarding the future of the market, it is certain that Jamaica will not back away. To expand the economy and pay back one of the worst ratios of debt to gross domestic product in the world, the country has to earn money quickly and efficiently.