Industry Insights & Developments for Cannabis in the Caribbean
While the use and cultivation of cannabis in the Caribbean isn’t new, its legalization is a much more recent development. Several Caribbean islands still outlaw cannabis use of any kind, but others are making progress towards reform, and the region as a whole has potential to become the perfect environment to advance the cannabis industry. Here’s what you need to know about new and upcoming developments for cannabis in the Caribbean.
UNDERSTANDING THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN THE CARIBBEAN
Consumption of cannabis in the Caribbean likely began in Jamaica in the mid-1800s. After the slave trade was abolished, indentured servants were brought over from India, bringing cannabis, or ganja, with them.
While there has long been widespread, if typically illegal, use of cannabis in the Caribbean, especially in places like Jamaica, there are now increased movements toward decriminalization and acceptance of cannabis throughout the region.
In 2018, the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), which serves to craft policy for 15 member states and 5 associate members in the Caribbean, released its Report of the Caricom Regional Commission on Marijuana. The report pushed for decriminalization of cannabis in the Caribbean, setting the stage for future legislation.
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CANNABIS IN THE CARIBBEAN: ISLAND-BY-ISLAND PROGRESS
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THE FUTURE OF CANNABIS IN THE CARIBBEAN
With some exceptions, the Caribbean as a whole is a perfect environment for cannabis growth. Due to its proximity to the equator, the region is hot, humid, and enjoys abundant sunlight.
While some islands have soil issues that could hinder growth, there is still huge potential for growing cannabis in the Caribbean.
In addition to the ideal growing environment, labor and costs of living in the Caribbean are cheap enough that it’s possible to both pay good wages and save on production costs.
Over time, as cannabis becomes a commodity, products for extracts, isolates, hemp, etc., will likely move to being produced in the Caribbean. From there, these products will be exported throughout the world, bringing more wealth and stability back to the Caribbean in return.