Jamaica's nascent cannabis industry hit hard by natural disasters
It is a cultural problem of great magnitude! Heavy rains followed by prolonged drought, in the face of rising local consumption and a drop in the number of growers Jamaica is facing a shortage of ganja in the country and according to experts it is the worst they have ever lived to this day.
When you ask someone which country they think is has the best cannabis, Jamaica is probably cited the most often. No other country is more associated with this plant than Jamaica. Cannabis is an important part of Jamaican culture, society and, more recently, a growing legal industry.
Jamaica has been home to a regulated industry medical cannabis. The island allows citizens to grow up to five plants, and Rastafarians are legally allowed to smoke ganja for worship purposes.
The law says people caught with 56 grams or less are supposed to pay a small fine and face no arrest or criminal record. Of course, this does not prevent many tourists and locals from buying ganja in the street, where it has recently become rarer and more expensive. The difficulties in finding weed are very real and tourists do not fail to place notes on travel sites, the info even lands in newspapers.
Campaigners say the pandemic and Jamaican loosening of ganja laws have resulted in increased local consumption that has contributed to the shortage, even as the pandemic has dampened the arrival of tourists seeking ganja. The problem was compounded by strict COVID-19 measures, including a 18 p.m. curfew that prevented farmers from tending their fields at night, as is routine, a declared Kenrick Wallace, 29, who cultivates nearly one hectare in Accompong with the help of 20 other farmers.
Paul Burke, CEO of the Jamaica Ganja Growers and Growers Association, said in an interview that people are no longer afraid of being locked up since the government allows possession of small quantities. He added that the stigma of ganja has decreased and more people appreciate its claimed therapeutic and medicinal value during the pandemic. He also said some traditional smallholder farmers have grown frustrated at being able to meet the demands of the legal market as police continue to destroy what he described as " good ganja fields" page (in French).
Natural disasters strike Jamaica and its ganja
"An unexpected disaster" caused by drought affecting cannabis crops has hit Jamaica. And recently rains washed away the fields and roads that farmers used. According to some growers of “illegal” ganja the drought and torrential rains have drastically reduced cannabis stocks resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of dollars.
The situation is said to be dire, with Jamaican farmers telling The Associated Press that entire crops have been lost due to natural disasters. Many farmers are unable to reach the still cultivable fields due to the lack of outward and return roads, and this also applies to access to water sources.
Will technological advancements alleviate future problems?
The climates of the world are changing, and part of that change is an increased frequency of natural disasters of different magnitudes. If the Jamaican cannabis industry has taken such a boom, it is largely because a large majority of cannabis is cultivated without the use of technology.
A growing infrastructure of greenhouses, water reservoirs and drip irrigation systems will go a long way in alleviating crop losses in Jamaica during future heavy rains followed by droughts. Naturally grown cannabis will always reign supreme in Jamaica because, after all, it is one of the best climates for growing cannabis.
However, an increase in sophisticated cultivation operations in Jamaica will help fill in gaps when needed in the future, which will benefit patients and consumers in the future.
The government's Cannabis Licensing Authority, which has licensed 29 growers and issued 73 licenses for transportation, retailing, processing and other activities said there is no shortage of ganja in the industry. regulated. But growers and activists say the weed sold in legal dispensaries, called "herbalists" or "herb houses," is out of reach for many, given that it still costs five to ten times as much as cannabis on the street.