High hopes for ganja following Herb Conference
Rebel Salute's Herb Conference which had become synonymous with the Herb Curb at the two-day reggae festival was staged away from the main venue for the first time last Thursday at Hot Box, in Bonham Spring, St Ann.
Among the many topics on the agenda were indigenous cannabis rights across the world, grassroot agriculture, value added linkages, and formalising ganja tourism. Lacksdean Anderson, president of the St Ann Ganja Growers Association, was happy for the move to a separate venue for the conference as it allows for more focus to be placed on herb, given its importance. According to Anderson, value added products are the way forward for the industry, which he sees as the next big thing economically.
"We need to move away from the colonial mentality where we grow the raw material and then we export and then we import all kinds of products," Anderson said. "When we look at the wide range of products that may be derived from the one plant, I think that's the way to go and that is why I say ganja is the next big thing."
Dominique McDowell, one of coordinators for the Herb Curb and Herb Conference, believes the event was fruitful.
"It's been a very good discussion, participants and the audience here have been very well engaged, a lot of very pointed questions, a lot of very useful key insights as to various aspects of the (herb) industry as it relates to developments across the world pertaining to indigenous cannabis rights, as well as grassroots agriculture," McDowell said.
"I'm very happy with the turnout of the discussions so far and the questions that have been raised. I'm just looking forward to some actionable outcomes from this discussion," he added.