Internet Radio

UWI plants first legal marijuana plant for medical research

A marijuana cultivation in Guyana (file photo)

It was described as a history making moment when the University of the West Indies (UWI) planted its first legal marijuana plant on university property April 20 last. According to information, the plant would have also been the first to be legally soiled in Jamaica; home of the academic agency.

The country’s Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell; Justice Minister, Senator the Mark Golding; university officials, as well as other stakeholders, were said to be part of the symbolic planting ceremony held at the Faculty of Medical Sciences’ Teaching and Research Complex.

The marijuana plants will be used for medical research, “and to also set the pace for the development of a legal cannabis industry,” it was reported.

This would be in keeping with the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015, which became effective on April 15, and makes provision for development of a medical marijuana industry. A similar licence is to be granted to the University of Technology (UTech), also for research purposes.

UWI researchers were urged to look into value-added products from marijuana since licences allow for contract farming, and called on the university to engage small farmers in the process. All persons set to be part of the evolving ganga industry were urged to follow the rules, while university students were encouraged to ensure their best work to develop the medical aspect of the industry.

 The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) had made the relaxing of marijuana legislation a huge one after parts of the US had done it and was claiming major profits.

Th regional body had decided that any decision to be made should be done as a unit. However insinuated as the “marijuana capital” of the Caribbean, Jamaica went ahead to relax their laws for the growth of the industry. 

This caused some amount of disagreement among CARICOM heads, but the island has more or less sought to use and market the wide notion of Jamaica having the best “weed” in the world.

The plant is known to assist with an array of medical complications,used to create clothing, bags. shoes among others. Scientists say they are still finding other uses for the generally, illegal substance.