Pubdate: Thu, 24 Apr 2014
Source: Jamaica Gleaner, The (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2014 The Gleaner Company Limited
Author: Andrew King



Cannabis is an industry that shows promise in the current job market. 
It is estimated that job openings in the cannabis industry have grown 
more than 3,000 per cent since 2005. In the United States, the market 
for legal marijuana, in which 20 states allow medical marijuana use 
and Washington and Colorado allow recreational marijuana use, could 
be worth $2.5 billion by the end of this year, according to the 
marijuana industry research firm ArcView Group.

In Canada, the government has introduced a commercial system for 
medical marijuana, which is projected to become a $1.3-billion 
industry over the next decade. Of those who use marijuana, 17.7 per 
cent say they use it for medical purposes, such as relief from 
chronic pain, migraines, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

flourishing industry

In Israel, the $40-million per year medical-marijuana industry has 
flourished. Illegal for recreational use, medical cannabis is 
prescribed to some 11,000 Israeli patients, up from 1,800 in 2009, 
according to the Israeli Health Ministry. It is used to treat an 
extensive list of illnesses, including cancer, Parkinson's, Tourette 
syndrome, and PTSD. Israel's warm climate and growing experience 
could allow it to sell marijuana at an unusually low price, making 
the country a major player in the global medical marijuana market, 
alongside Holland and Canada, the world's leading suppliers and 
existing markets for Jamaica to export its marijuana.

Jamaica can follow the Israeli example in the granting of licences to 
export marijuana without violating the United Nation Convention for 
the Suppression of the Illicit Traffic in Dangerous Drugs, by 
creating a Medical Cannabis Unit of the health ministry or a national 
narcotics agency, assuming responsibility for the issue on the 
Government's behalf to police and regulate the industry.

In its 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, the US 
says 'Jamaica remains the largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to 
the US and other Caribbean islands and other international markets'.

We cannot afford to miss the marijuana boat.

Andrew King

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