Sat | Mar 24, 2018

Ganja prospects paralysed by tepid policy

Published:Saturday | January 13, 2018 | 12:12 AM


Why are Health Minister Chris Tufton and Permanent Secretary Winston De La Haye so reluctant to go full-speed ahead towards monetising Jamaica-based medical marijuana? Let's take a look at the pain and opioid industries. It is a US$635-billion sector. Medical marijuana is disrupting this industry, because it's a superior alternative to pain.

From arthritis to inflammation, cannabis is being looked to as a new miracle cure. It's being approved by top universities, hospitals, and doctors worldwide as a treatment for a wide variety of ailments.

The painkiller industry is nervously eyeing the medical marijuana industry. Its products are getting people addicted and have led to a United States nationwide opioid epidemic. OxyContin, which is a highly addictive painkiller, made US$38 billion in sales.

The executives know the danger to their fantastically profitable industry and are aware that small countries like Jamaica can use marijuana which we produce in abundance and with high quality to change the economic game.

They will throw up barriers like never before. Jamaicans need to be shrewd or lose. I am not exaggerating. The CEO of the same OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, is investing in - you guessed it - medical marijuana. It's a publicly traded company with gargantuan/deep pockets.

For example, they're saying that an investment of US$5,000 could yield US$45,000 for early investors.

The Jamaican Government has people who are so unsophisticated that they're going to let that whole industry pass them by, or settle for the bluff, bluster, and short-money bribes of the US government, in conjunction with the CEOs.

It's maddeningly sad. So you know what? I'm just going to call my US-based stock broker.