Ganja guru objects to Shaw's suggestion

Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Local marijuana guru Ras Iyah V is strongly objecting to Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Audley Shaw's suggestion that farmers cultivate medicinal marijuana low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and high in cannabidiol (CBD) that meets with the laws of the United States of America, as a means of overcoming the threat of de-risking.

Iyah V argued that Jamaica needs to focus on the wider international medical cannabis market and not limit its concentration to the American market, as right around the world, depending on the illnesses, some doctors might either prescribe strong CBD use or strong THC.

“In some cases the doctor might combine both to a certain ratio, depending on the type of illness. So there are markets and it (THC) is being used heavily in the international medical cannabis community, especially when it comes to pain. We need to do our research and we need to read what is going on out there. People will tell you that when it comes to certain type of illnesses, it is high THC that's most effective,” Ras Iyah V argued.

“I don't say he (Shaw) should not focus on CBD in terms of the US, but look on the broader market. There are markets out there for both strains. So, from a Jamaican point of view, what we should do is target wherever the market is and market the product that we have that suits that particular market, whether is high CBD market or high THC,” he added.

Citing the need for more research, Ras Iyah V, who heads the Westmoreland Hemp and Ganja Farmers' Association, said that Government should not listen only to the Ministry of Health on matters concerning the medical cannabis industry “because most of these people don't know anything what is going on in the (international) medical cannabis industry”.

“They don't know what the business platform or the business circle is like, so as such they need to listen to people coming from outside who know what the market is, who know what the industry, is like,” the Rastafarian pointed out.

“One of the problems I have also with our leaders is that they don't listen, and throughout history a lot of downfall of governments is because they refuse to listen to their own people and they tend to want to draw to some well-paid consultants and at the end of the day these consultants do not produce what would have been expected of them,” he said.

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