Why did JMCC’s founders choose Jamaica as our base of operations after considering other jurisdictions that had legalized cannabis cultivation for medical and research purposes?


There were several reasons for choosing Jamaica:


  • It has a long tradition of growing and applying cannabis for medicinal purposes. From its use as “folk medicine” for generations, through early research in the 1970s-80s by pioneers like Professor Manley West and Dr. Albert Lockhart, who developed Canisol, a cannabis-based treatment for glaucoma, and up to today with the development of U.S. FDA-approved trials for Orphan Drug treatments for Acute Myeloid Leukemia and pancreatic cancer.

  • Today, the University of the West Indies is home to one of the world’s leading laboratories dedicated to scientifically investigating and verifying culturally derived applications to optimize the medicinal properties of cannabis for the needs of patients.

  • The country has decades of cultivation experience. Since “ganja” was introduced by indentured servants from India in the 1800s, Jamaicans have developed farming techniques that make the most of the island’s optimal year-round growing environment to grow some of the best cannabis for medical purposes in the world.

  • That optimal, year-round growing environment means more sustainable cultivation compared to northern countries – a factor that was important to our founders. The country provides:

    • Equal portions of daylight and night,

    • Natural humidity above 50%,

    • Natural air circulation provided by cool mountain breezes,

    • Micro-climates that have allowed a variety of unique landraces to evolve, with a range of cannabinoid ratios, terpenoids and other compounds that are ideal for novel medical applications.

  • Jamaica’s 2015 reforms to its Dangerous Drugs Act, to allow cultivation for research, medical and religious uses, as overseen by its Cannabis Licensing Authority, borrowed the best from similar legislation in Canada’s legal medical cannabis regime, and kept the island aligned with international narcotics control laws.
  • By investing in its fledging medical cannabis industry, we could give more back to Jamaica including job creation and training, and local economic and social development.

  • Last but definitely not least, we chose Jamaica for its abundance of highly skilled people: growers, scientists, technicians, agricultural workers and others, who have grown up in families using cannabis as medicine for generations. (Relatively few Jamaicans use it for recreational purposes.) They strongly believe in the healing properties of the plant and the benefits it can bring to patients worldwide. So, they’re 100% committed to JMCC’s mission.