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The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries will be partnering with the Harvard International Phytomedicines and Medical Cannabis Institute (HIPI) in the United States on initiatives aimed at improving the country’s competitiveness in the global cannabis industry.

Portfolio Minister, Audley Shaw, in making the disclosure, said that representatives of HIPI will be visiting the island from September 30 to October 2, as part of the impending arrangement.

During the visit, the group will participate in an informational tour of key facilities that are heavily involved in research related to cannabis and other medicinal plants.

“We will be partnering with HIPI, as the opportunity exists for clinical trials of cannabis products to be conducted, which will help in settling dosage issues, and of course, we will be involving our own universities in this initiative,” he said.

Shaw made the comments as he addressed the CanEx Business Conference and Expo, which brought together top cannabis industry experts from the United States, Canada, South and Central America, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. The event ended on Friday.

Minister Shaw said the Andrew Holness administration is committed to developing the local cannabis industry in a holistic manner, which will bring economic benefits for Jamaicans.

“It is obvious that we must take advantage of the opportunities for engagement at all levels. It is an exciting time for us because we have this industry [and] we see where the landscape is improving,” he said.

Founder of the event, Douglas Gordon, said that participation in the global cannabis industry provides an opportunity to change the economic circumstances of the Caribbean region.

“We have, from inception, essentially existed on the crumbs of the economic world power supply chain around the world. This gives us something we can produce locally as a first source and derive other products from it, and really create economic prosperity in this region,” he said.

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