Marijuana researchers on the Caribbean island of Jamaica are planning to develop new pharmaceutical products following the partial decriminalisation of cannabis.
Following the partial decriminalisation of cannabis earlier this year, Jamaican scientists are harnessing more than 40 years of research in a bid to cash in on the lucrative global medical marijuana market.
As of April 2015, the possession of two ounces of marijuana, or less, is no longer an arrestable offence in Jamaica and the establishment of a Cannabis Licensing Authority is paving the way for the development of a set of rules and regulations to govern this burgeoning pharmaceutical industry, estimated to be worth US$100 billion worldwide.
As a result, marijuana researchers on the island are hoping to develop new pharmaceutical products, almost four decades after several new medicines were developed and subsequently launched on the international market.
“We are not talking about smoking ganja (cannabis), we are looking to produce medicines that will help people,” Courtney Betty, Attorney at Law and head of Timeless Herbal Care Limited (THC), told Equal Times from his base in Canada.
Since 1972, Jamaican scientists at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Department of Pharmacology have studied the properties of cannabis, developing a number of pioneering products, including: Canasol, and later Cantivert, to treat glaucoma; Asmasol for asthma; and Canavert for motion sickness.