According to Triston Thompson, “It’s a cultural embarrassment,” a consulting and brokerage firm for the country’s nascent legal cannabis industry.
Jamaica, which non-residents have long associated with cannabis, reggae, and Rastafarians, certified a regulated medical marijuana industry and decriminalized mini consignment of weed in 2015.
People who are caught with 2 ounces (56 grams) or less of cannabis are assumed to pay a small fine, and there is no arrest or criminal report. The island also allows people to cultivate up to five plants, and Rastafarians are legally entitled to smoke ganja for any purpose.
But enforcement is spotty as many guests and locals continue to buy cannabis on the street, where it has grown more scarce and more expensive.
During last year’s hurricane season, heavy rains battered cannabis lands that were later scorched in the drought that resulted, causing tens of thousands of dollars in losses, according to cultivators who cultivate the crop outside the legal system.
Heavy rains and the now covid-19 situation turned the scarcity on higher levels. Curfew tends to restrict the working of farmers in the fields, which resulted in a lack of marijuana.
Reports say they trust that the pandemic and a loosening of Jamaica’s marijuana laws has led to an upsurge in local consumption that has contributed to the short, even if the coronavirus has put a dent in the coming of ganja-seeking guests.
Also, guests have taken note, placing posts on online travel websites about challenges finding the drug.
Paul Burke, CEO of Jamaica’s Ganja Growers and Producers Association, stated that some cultural small farmers have stopped growing frustrated as they can’t afford to meet demands for the legal market. At the same time, police continue to demolish what he described as “good ganja fields.”
The government’s Cannabis Licensing Authority, which has certified 29 cultivators and issued 73 licenses for transportation, retail, processing, and other exercises, said there is no scarcity of marijuana in the regulated industry. But farmers and other activists say weed sold via legal dispensaries known as herb houses is out of reach for several, given that it still costs five to 10 times more than cannabis on the street.