OTTAWA — A new, small group of ganja farmers in western Jamaica have big ambitions — to become the domestic hub for a lucrative medical marijuana industry in the Caribbean nation. And they've already attracted Canadians interested in partnering to import the product.
"Jamaica has a particular brand that has been established around cannabis," said Michael Blaine Dowdall, CEO of Toronto-based MedCann Access, which is seeking to join the list of — currently 13 — licensed medical marijuana producers in Canada.
Dowdall's company, along with Timeless Herbal Care, whose board of advisers includes former Ontario premier Ernie Eves, are the Canadian connection to the potentially lucrative industry for Jamaican ganja farmers.
But there are big hurdles to the grand plan — including the fact it's currently illegal to grow marijuana in Jamaica.
"Everyone thinks it's a great idea — they just see it as something that will be difficult to have happen," Dowdall admits.