10 April 2016

The report goes on to say…

“We have discovered a new gene which we intend to produce commercially because our plant geneticist has assured me that the value of this gene, if it’s inserted into productive plants like fruit trees, it increases the yield,” he said.

Given the decade-long debate about marijuana usage within Jamaican society in the past, researchers at UWI Mona have since teamed with both local and international partners such as the US-based Citiva Jamaica LLC to prove the many benefits of the cannabis (marijuana) plant.

McDonald said Mona’s current research includes the Charlotte’s Web strain of cannabis which was featured in the three-part CNN documentary, Weed.

The plant gained popularity after it was successfully used to treat a US girl, Charlotte Figi, with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.

While McDonald had not mentioned how soon this gene would be commercialised, he insisted that UWI’s biotechnology centres and natural product institutes have been researching herbs for a long time.

Jamaica was the first Caribbean country to decriminalise small amounts of marijuana in February 2015.

Full Report: http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2016-04-05/researchers-ganja-gene-can-improve-fruit-yield

Prof Archibald McDonald  Bio: https://www.mona.uwi.edu/principal/meet-the-principal/biography

The University Of West Indies @ Mona  http://www.mona.uwi.edu