By / May 17, 2020

Jamaica’s cannabis exports face uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic

The number of countries that have started to relax their policies towards cannabis has increased. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, now the states outbid each other in paranoid orders and population control. Even Jamaica, a famous Caribbean island known as a cannabis paradise,  is not exempt from these repercussions which have damaged the market to a great extent. Even cannabis exports from the island have to be postponed for now.

When asked, the minister in charge of coordinating these shipments announced that it was not known exactly when the exports of hemp and cannabis to foreign countries would start. Even taking into account that, the cannabis laws have been relaxed for a long period on the island and export of hemp was firmly planned for past April.

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Experts believe that the delays were inevitable

Nevertheless, experts and observers of the latest actions related to cannabis taken by the island’s government expected a delay of these hemp exports. Beyond the coronavirus pandemic, Jamaica has probably set the usual bureaucratic hurdles too high. That’s why cannabis companies must be aware that it is possible these exports of hemp and cannabis will be delayed by at least one year.

The possibility of long delays worries the states that had firmly planned to use cannabis from the island, to provide patients with high-quality cannabis-based medicines.

In the past months, the government of Jamaica announced some new initiatives in order to expand the island’s cannabis industry and build a reliable economy around it:

  • The expansion of any cannabis-related research.
  • Facilitate licenses for the cultivation of cannabis on the island.
  • Increase the export of cannabis to other countries.
  • Make sure that Jamaican cannabis growers have a gold-plated standard at a national level.

Even if these initiatives sound like a far fetched dream, which is usually the case for third world countries, it could become quite a promising plan as the Jamaican cannabis industry keeps developing.

As the coronavirus pandemic expands, cannabis companies need to readjust their schedule

Currently, every process in Jamaica’s cannabis industry has been affected in some way, as both exporting companies aiming to send cannabis to countries such as Canada and national companies looking to commercialize cannabis on the island are encountering difficulties.

Most of these difficulties are because measures ranging from masking to spacing to constant disinfection cannot be implemented everywhere. Consequently, many branches of the Jamaican cannabis industry are now in serious trouble due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Especially those that had already signed contracts with Jamaica, and planned the corresponding volume of cannabis shipments. Now, they have to wait until further notice, until the government decides when will be a good time to restart these exports.

Furthermore, even though companies from different countries signed contracts with Jamaica, and now expect the island to respect them, the government takes everything more casually. That is why it is questionable whether companies will really commit themselves to the country in the long term if delays become more frequent. Perhaps the authorities on the island have not yet fully understood that supply chains must be followed.

Finally, the reaction of the authorities is rather relaxed, one praises the innovations and hopes for golden times in the future, but for that, reliability in planning is needed. Jamaica sees itself as the most powerful cannabis player in the Caribbean, with a legal business for export already in place. However, only the future will show if political hope and economic reality will really come together.


(Featured image by MichaelGaida via Pixabay)

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