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Jamaica: Ganja Research Revived At University Of West Indies

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The University of the West Indies in Kingston Jamaica, has revived a special medical marijuana research project from the 1970’s.

The program is designed to help Caribbean countries enter the medical marijuana market and enjoy the profits from it that nations like the U.S. and Canada receive.

The University is researching the effects of marijuana on the human body, growing different strains of marijuana since 2015 and working to develop products that treat illnesses.

The research is being conducted on the Mona Campus, where Professor Archibald McDonald is the Principal. McDonald is optimistic about what this project and the Caribbean region can do for medical marijuana, and for their economy. He stated, “The UWI Mona Campus will lead the world in medical cannabis.”

UWI’s magazine ‘The Pelican’ discussed the program in a recent issue, saying “The University of the West Indies has revived the ganja research programme it began in the 1970’s as it prepares to launch Jamaica as a global powerhouse for cannabis research.”

The magazine stated that the U.S is on track to make $13 billion in medical marijuana sales by 2019 and that it's time for the Caribbean to get on board.

Jamaica decriminalized the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana in 2015 and allows the cultivation of up to five plants.

New Jersey: Son of Musician Peter Tosh Launches Fundraising Campaign to Battle Marijuana Charges

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Charged In New Jersey For Posession With Intent To Distribute Marijuana, Peter Tosh's son Jawara McIntosh Faces 10-20 Years In Jail If Convicted

Jawara “Tosh1” McIntosh, son of the, legendary reggae artist Peter Tosh, is fighting what he believes is a grave injustice for the possession of marijuana. As a Rastafarian, McIntosh argues, “I was raised in the tradition of Rastafari, which is not simply a religion but a way of life. And in the Rastafarian tradition, herb, also known as cannabis, is a sacrament we use freely for spiritual purposes. Besides the fact that the use of this sacred plant should be protected by the Constitution, it is utterly ridiculous that a plant could ever be classified as a drug.”

Legal fees and debt from the sizable bail are mounting. In response, Tosh1 and the Peter Tosh Estate have launched an Indiegogo Crowdfunding account to help McIntosh fight the charges. The account is now live at: www.indiego.com. The decriminalization of cannabis has become a hot topic in recent months, and will certainly be a campaign issue in the 2016 elections.

In fact, it is a widely held opinion among lawmakers that the criminal justice system should be reformed. Recently at the NAACP’s annual convention in Philadelphia, President Barack Obama cited the “long history of inequity in the criminal justice system in America,” and argued that the system was “particularly skewed by race and wealth.”

Jamaica: Ministry of Industry Hires Consultant For Medical Marijuana and Industrial Hemp

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Jamaica's Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce on Friday announced that BOTEC Analysis has been hired as a consultant for the development of regulations to guide Jamaica's nascent medical marijuana and industrial hemp sectors. At the end of the consultancy, BOTEC Analysis will submit to Jamaica's Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) a final report with regulatory recommendations, which will include, but are not limited to, licensing, market sizing, taxation, and organizational structures.

Over two months, BOTEC Analysis will conduct on-the-ground research and a series of interviews with stakeholders in the Jamaican government as well as marijuana industry participants, local business leaders, scientists, police departments, medical associations, and consumers. Researchers will take into account the role of proprietary strains, intellectual property, patented processes, and traditional cultural and religious practices in the development and operation of the industries.

"BOTEC Analysis will also incorporate global best practices and lessons learned from other jurisdictions in the development, administration, and management of medical marijuana and hemp," the company, which also oversaw implementation of Washington state's problematic legalization law, announced.

Jamaica: BioTrackTHC Collaborates With Universities To Provide Marijuana Tracking

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BioTrackTHC™, a provider of seed-to-sale software tracking solutions for marijuana businesses and government regulators, on Thursday announced partnerships that provide the company's seed-to-sale medical marijuana tracking technology and training to the University of Technology, Jamaica and the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica.

The two universities are growing medical marijuana for research purposes and are the only entities legally allowed to grow marijuana in the country until business licenses are approved.

"We are proud to be working with both of Jamaica's institutions of higher learning to help bolster knowledge and infrastructure for the legal medical marijuana industry in Jamaica," said Patrick Vo, co-CEO, BioTrackTHC. "It's a mutual education process whereby our company is learning about the needs of Jamaica while sharing our technology and expertise that is leading the way in the rapidly expanding U.S. market.

"Our goal is to provide a solution that is tailored to meet the specific needs and priorities of the Jamaican people and their new medical marijuana industry," Vo said. "We look forward to the results of their research."

Jamaica: Cannabis Global Initiative To Assist Marijuana Companies Entering New Market

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Legislation to make provisions for ganja reform was approved by the Jamaican Cabinet and tabled in the Senate in January 2015. This Bill, the Dangerous Drugs Act 2015, and popularly called the Ganja Bill, opened the door to the emergence of new financial and commercial opportunities for companies who want to do business in Jamaica.

As advisors for cannabis reform to the country of Jamaica, the Cannabis Global Initiative (CGI) says it is now offering "a full suite of services to assist companies wanting to be among the first to do legal cannabis business in the Caribbean," and has opened a second office in Kingston.

With the opening of its second office and CGI's longstanding relationships with the Jamaican government, policy stakeholders and the growing community, CGI is prepared to advise companies with placing their products and/or services in the first Caribbean country to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. TessMaria Leon, director of Client Services for CGI's Caribbean team, heads CGI's Kingston office.

"We've created a robust offering to ensure the best companies are being represented and positioned correctly to do business in the Caribbean," says CGI President Wanda James. "CGI has created a number of packages with several levels of service designed to introduce cannabis-related businesses to Jamaican culture, lifestyle and business infrastructure."

Global: Online Screening of Classic Reggae Movie 'Countryman' Set For Dec. 5

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Next Friday, December 5, Palm Pictures will revive the great tradition of "midnight movies" with an exclusive online screening of the legendary reggae classic Countryman. Directed by Dickie Jobson, the film is a 1982 cult classic, featuring classic tracks from Bob Marley, Steel Pulse, and Toots and The Maytals.

Preceding the movie screening, at 11:30 pm on Friday 12/5, the film's co-star Carl Bradshaw will live-chat from Jamaica via Google Hangouts On Air with veteran reggae journalist Rob Kenner. The live chat with Bradshaw and the special "Midnight Movie Streaming" will be broadcast live via Google Hangouts here.

Countryman, a real life Jamaican fisherman and mystic, played himself in the 90-minute art house film. His feats of skill and daring in that movie made him an “ital” (natural) Rasta superhero and were an accurate reflection of his way of life.

The film's depictions of ganja use only serve to further endear it to a devoted cult audience.

Island Records founder and Countryman Executive Producer Chris Blackwell recalls, “He was a unique character, able to live in the jungle. We decided to do a film with him because you could never find a movie star who could wrestle with alligators and run through swamps the way he did.

"Countryman was an amazing person, always positive and full of humor," Blackwell ssaid. "Being of African and Indian descent, he embodied the Jamaican motto, ‘Out of Many, One People.’”

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