Jamaican cannabis is about to have much better quality control standards, as regulators aim to expand international export opportunities. According to a report in Cannabis Wire this past week
1. Encourage greater collaboration among stakeholders in the industry.
2. Increase the awareness of the various stakeholders of the contents of the cannabis standards.
3. Highlight the challenges being experienced by the various stakeholders, in meeting the requirements of the standards and identify possible solutions. 4. Provide greater clarity regarding the roles of the regulators.
The BSJ has promulgated seven (7) Standards to support the Cannabis Industry; the Standards are:
1. JS ASTM D8196-18: 2019 Jamaican Standard Practice for Determination of Water Activity in Cannabis Flower.
2. JS ASTM D8219-19: 2019 Jamaican Standard Guide for Cleaning and Disinfection.
3. JS ASTM D8245-19: 2019 Jamaican Standard Guide for the Disposal of Resin-Cannabis Raw Materials and Downstream Products.
4. JS ASTM D8250-19: 2019 Jamaican Standard Practice for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems for Cannabis Consumable Products.
5. JS 347: 2020 Jamaican Standard Guide for the Packaging and labeling of consumer resin medical cannabis products.
6. JCP 6: 2020 Jamaican Standard Code of Practice for Processing and handling of cannabis for medical, scientific and therapeutic use.
7. JCP 7: 2020 Jamaican Standard Code of Practice for the Cultivation of cannabis for medical, scientific and therapeutic use.
Cannabis Wire note…..
On Wednesday, regulators announced one of the most significant revisions of cannabis cultivation and processing rules since the legalization of medical cannabis in Jamaica in 2015. Specifically, the country’s Bureau of Standards released new rules governing cannabis for medical, scientific and therapeutic uses, to align with guidelines established by ASTM International, a standards organization. Until now, Jamaica’s quality control standards were largely nonexistent, and farmers primarily relied on traditional cultivation methods that fall short of rigorous quality control standards found in other cannabis markets.
The move, which is a part of a wider revamp of cannabis regulations led by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, aims to bring international best practices to its local cannabis industry in order to facilitate greater market access via exports.
“While we are a locally-based industry, we are globally focused,” said Floyd Green, the Minister of State in the Ministry. “We are focused on exporting our cannabis flower and cannabis products to the entire world. We are quite clear that for us to have a seamless system of exports, people must be assured that the cannabis that is grown here and the products produced here are safe and are of the highest standards.”
Green pointed to quality control, consistency, and compliance issues that have been a barrier for the island to unlock its market potential when it comes to participating in the global industry. These regulatory shortcomings have long been a concern for industry stakeholders in Jamaica, and these new rules also come on the heels of months of hand wringing over the future of the island’s formal commercial export regulations, as Cannabis Wire reported. In recent months, the island has also seen the departure of international players, such as Aurora and the Green Organic Dutchman—both based in Canada—due to profitability concerns.
For consumable cannabis products, Jamaica’s new “cannabis standards” would use four ASTM International standards that cover a range of practices, including plant and product analysis and handling. Those standards will exist alongside three new locally developed standards for cultivation, processing, packaging, labeling, and handling.