Jamaica launches first medical marijuana company

Local scientist and businessman hopes to corner world market in medicinal usage of drug.

Jamaica join the medical marijuana revolutionA Jamaican scientist has launched a company which he hopes will boost the country’s ‘chronic’ economy using one of its most famous products – marijuana.

Henry Lowe has created MediCanja, which aims to capitalize on the global increase in the use of the drug for medicinal purposes.

The company will focus initially on research and development of cannabidiol, a compound found in marijuana – known locally as ‘ganja’ – which has medical benefits but no psychoactive side-effects.

Speaking at the company’s launch in the island’s capital Kingston on Tuesday, Mr Lowe said that he hoped the development of medical cannabis could help “transform Jamaica’s fledgling economy”.

“Medical ganja could have a multiplier effect by catalyzing other industries such as health and wellness tourism,” he said.

Despite its usage in Jamaica, marijuana has been banned in the country since 1913 – but Mr Lowe says the company will be able to access supplies of the drug legally.

“We have already received permission to operate and the Jamaican Parliament is moving to pass legislation that will allow certain things to come into being,” he said.

“We will not break any local or international laws or conventions.”

Studies have shown that, as an analgesic and sedative, medical marijuana can have a positive effect on a range of conditions including insomnia, anxiety and nausea, muscle spasms and seizures.

Recent research also suggests that cannabinoids like cannabidiol can even help the brain recover from the effects of a stroke.

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