Jamaica has developed a reputation internationally for the production of cannabis inflorescence (buds, flowers) and a wealth of indigenous knowledge and technical competence as it pertains to the cultivation and management of the horticultural commodity.
The amended Dangerous Drugs Act 2015 stipulates that hemp is classified as any Cannabis sativa L plant, or any part thereof, that possesses less than one per cent THC. However, this creates a level of ambiguity within the law, as there is a remarkable difference between craft hemp (cannabis flowers grown for high CBD but low THC, less than one per cent) as compared to industrial hemp grown for its biomass, in particular its fibres and seeds.
Therefore, the production of industrial hemp in Jamaica poses a serious threat to the integrity and sustainable development of the Jamaica medical cannabis industry. There is a difference between the genetic nature of industrial hemp when compared to cannabis. According to research published by Datwyler and Weiblen 2006, the analysis of molecular variance indicates that 27.2 per cent of the genetic variation is attributable to differences between cannabis and industrial hemp lines, while 20.9 per cent can be attributed to differences among hemp varieties.
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