Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has given initial approval to three medical marijuana business applicants, two for cultivation and one for processing.
But the actual launch of the island’s medical marijuana industry – ranging from growers to retailers – could still be months off.
A total of 160 applicants competed for the latest batch of business permits, according to the Jamaica Observer.
The handful of applicants chosen so far has touched off complaints on the island that the industry’s rollout is proceeding too slowly, raising concerns that Jamaica may be left behind in the global medical cannabis market.
The conditional approval of the three applicants comes after the government approved regulations nine months earlier to allow the growing of cannabis for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.
The cultivation licenses are for small operations, less than an acre. The Jamaica Observer reported that conditional approval can take up to six months if all the relevant information is supplied before the official license is granted.
The CLA’s website states it will issue 11 different types of cannabis-related business permits, including three levels of cultivators and retailers as well as two types of of processors and research and development operations.