Medical Marijuana Laws in Jamaica

By Seed And Beyond | Blogs | Compliance | Jamaica |


Many people consider Jamaica as the haven for cannabis enthusiasts. But do you know that cannabis was illegal in Jamaica for a long time? However, in 2015 things changed regarding laws in Jamaica. Let’s look at the current laws in Jamaica relating to medical cannabis.

Laws relating to possession and usage

Before 2015, the laws in Jamaica didn’t permit the possession and use of cannabis. This meant that individuals caught possessing cannabis could face up to five years imprisonment and charges of up to $100 per ounce.

In 2015, the Jamaican government considered several amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act which included:

  1. The decriminalization of cannabis possession. Individuals caught with less than two ounces of cannabis won’t be arrested and will not have a criminal record.
  2. The new ‘ticket fine’ system (similar to parking tickets) involves tickets issued to offenders caught with two ounces or less of cannabis. The offender is subject to pay J$500 to any tax office within 30 days.
  3. The possession of more than two ounces of cannabis is still illegal. Individuals caught with higher amounts of cannabis will be arrested (with a possibility of facing jail terms), fined, and have a criminal record.
  4. It’s illegal to use cannabis in public areas, or within five meters of a public area (this is a similar law to cigarette smoking). The Dangerous Drugs Act specifically lists public places such as bars, eateries, touristic sites, workplaces, government establishments, and other public areas.

The amendments include both adults and minors. Minors caught possessing cannabis are not arrested, they are instead referred to the National Council on Drug Abuse. The same strategy is used on adults who may be addicted to cannabis.

Laws relating to selling cannabis

The 2015 amendment also allowed the creation of medical marijuana dispensaries. While the process was slow to roll out, we finally saw the first dispensary in 2018.

  1. To purchase from a dispensary, you must provide identification documents, such as a passport or driver’s license (only over 18 years of age), as well as proof of medical necessity.
  2. Companies selling cannabis for medicinal, scientific, or research purposes can apply for a cannabis retail license in Jamaica. The Cannabis Licensing Authority is responsible for approving all applications relating to cannabis sales.
  3. Cannabis that’s sold for purposes other than medicinal, scientific, or research is considered illegal in the country. The amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act decriminalized cannabis and increased the fines for those who sell and traffic illegal drugs.

This was done as a means of reducing the nation’s significant drug trafficking problem. A report by The International Narcotics Control Strategy (released by the US State Department), states that Jamaica is the main source of cannabis in the Caribbean.

Laws relating to growing cannabis

The 2015 amendment also meant that individuals could grow limited amounts of cannabis plants for personal use only. According to the Dangerous Drugs Act, each household can grow up to five cannabis plants. Rastafarian adults can apply to cultivate cannabis for religious purposes. Also, there exists the Cannabis Licensing Authority, meant to control and regulate the medicinal cannabis industry, and cannabis cultivation for research purposes. The Cannabis Licensing Authority also regulates Jamaica’s hemp industry.

The laws on growing cannabis only permit small scale cannabis growing. Large scale growing is not permitted. But this doesn’t affect farmers across the nation as they still grow cannabis in large amounts. Reports from The International Narcotics Control Strategy state that Jamaica is a “major illicit drug-producing country”, producing about 5,000 hectares or more of illegal cannabis per year.

Laws relating to CBD

CBD is legal in Jamaica due to its significantly low THC levels and its ability to treat several symptoms such as pain, stress, and depression. Nonetheless, the CBD industry is still in its developing stages and it’s sometimes difficult to find CBD products. They’re also usually costly. Under the 2015 amendments of the Dangerous Drugs Act, individuals with terminal illnesses such as cancer may legally import cannabis products for medicinal purposes.

To become eligible to import cannabis, you must be certified by a registered medical practitioner, clearing stating that you are suffering from the illness. The practitioner must also specify that the reason for cannabis use and follow all guidelines relating to cannabis imports.

Laws relating to tourists and cannabis

People who visit Jamaica can use medical marijuana, only after been granted a permit. This permit allows tourists to purchase and carry up to two ounces of cannabis at a given time, for personal and medical purposes only.

Visitors must also show a document from a recognized medical practitioner that proves their use of medical cannabis for a specific condition. Tourists can also sign a voluntary declaration to acknowledge their use of medical cannabis and this usually includes a fee.

Seed and Beyond ERP Software for Jamaica Cannabis Industry

Seed and Beyond system has extensive tracking and reporting capabilities to assist state and local governments with enforcing regulations, collecting taxes, verifying product quality, and preventing illegal cannabis diversion and inversion. The system allows regulatory agencies to view every gram of legal cannabis throughout the production life cycle.

Unique Value Proposition of Seed and Beyond

  1. True and unified picture of the business through a single, integrated business management solution
  2. Instantaneous access to critical information across customer relationship, manufacturing and finance
  3. Immediate notification and automatic response to important business events
  4. Ability to grow with the needs of the business
  5. Powerful customization capabilities that go into effect instantly
  6. Quick time to benefit, including rapid implementation, reduced learning curve and low total cost of ownership.

Seed and Beyond is a leading Cannabis ERP software that helps Cannabis business run their end-to-end operations efficiently while remaining compliant. As part of the Jamaica Cannabis Industry regulations, Seed and Beyond (powered by SAP Business One) has an efficient tracking system that will help capture the data of every single Cannabis plant throughout the entire supply chain from seed-to-sale – Cultivation, Extraction, Processing/Manufacturing, Quality Control, Distribution, Retail and Delivery. Seed and Beyond is a complete ERP system that goes beyond seed-to-sale tracking and help businesses manage every aspect of their business and make data driven decisions.

There are a number of Medical Marijuana Laws and regulations that govern the movement of Cannabis in Jamaica and it is important for businesses to stay on top of the regulatory requirements while managing the other verticals. With Seed and Beyond, Jamaica Cannabis business owners can focus on building and expanding their business while we take care of compliance. Seed and Beyond can seamlessly integrate with leading industry systems that would help you run your business smoothly and is powered with the complete framework needed to track and trace the movement of Cannabis that helps monitor and enforce compliance.

The team at Seed and Beyond brings together a unique combination of SAP and industry experience to redefine the way cannabis and hemp seed to sale software work and deliver the next-generation user experience for cannabis and hemp seed to sale business. Whether you are a Cultivator, Processor, Distributor or Retailer, our Cannabis ERP software solutions address almost every area of Cannabis business: from marketing, sales, and customer support to finance, accounting, human resources and project management.

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