To preserve Jamaica’s cannabis strains, Canadian exporter invests $2M in research

Jamaica’s cannabis strains are unique, and to preserve them a Canadian exporter is going to invest $2M (US) in research. 

To identify, analyze and preserve Jamaica’s indigenous cannabis strains, the Jamaica Medical Cannabis Corporation Ltd. (JMCC), a Canadian-Jamaican medical cannabis exporter, signed on Monday the agreement, covering the course of the upcoming 10 years.

JMCC signed an official Memorandum of Agreement with Jamaica’s National Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology (NFDST) to undertake the project, titled: “Identification, Isolation, and Conservation of Local Strains of Cannabis for Medicinal Use.”

The project is funded through the JMCC’s charitable foundation, 102.

JMCC said the agreement is to strengthen Jamaica’s contribution to the local and international health industries by promoting consumer confidence in the quality and integrity of the country’s medical cannabis.

Diane Scott, JMCC’s CEO, said:

“JMCC is fully committed to supporting the Jamaican medical cannabis industry every way we can and ensuring there are lasting benefits for the country and its people.”

Jamaica’s cannabis strains

Scott said the deal is to “help to preserve what we believe are some of the best medical cannabis strains in the world.”

She added:

“As Jamaican medical cannabis grows in popularity, there is a real threat that the country’s unique strains will be lost or irrevocably contaminated by hybridization.”

The National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST),  a Jamaican non-profit organization, established to promote improved utilization of science and technology in the country, will be receiving, managing and disbursing funds to a research consortium that will execute the project.

Professor Errol Morrison, NCST’s Director General of the National Commission on Science and Technology said: “We will be using a nutraceutical affirmation of the claims for health benefits, and we will be archiving these claims for posterity, so that we can assure a hundred years from now that Strain X shall be Stain X and not hybridised out or cross-fertilised in any way.”

While cannabis remains illegal in Jamaica, the possession of small amounts was reduced to a petty offense in 2015. Locally known as ganja, cannabis has long being tied to the country’s cultural touchstones such as Rastafari and reggae music.