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December 14, 2013
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Paulwell urges further research into medical marijuana

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell, is encouraging further serious scientific research into medical marijuana, citing its potential to earn billions.

The minister noted that Jamaica had not kept pace with scientific research and development of products from the marijuana plant despite pioneering the first commercial product from ganja in the form of Cannasol, a treatment for glaucoma.

"I am of the firm opinion that scientific research into marijuana, both in the very many uses of the plant as hemp and its medical properties, is an idea whose time has come," Paulwell said.

He was delivering the keynote address at the launch of the book Cannabis, Marijuana, Ganja: the Jamaican Global Connection by Professor Henry Lowe and Professor Errol Morrison, held at Eden Gardens in Kingston, on December 10.

The minister pointed out that around the world, countries such as Canada, Israel, and the United States had taken the lead in research into medical marijuana and Jamaica shsould not be left behind.

He further added that hemp, the fibrous variety of the cannabis sativa plant, is enormously versatile, and Jamaica could reap significant social and economic benefits from the development of a ganja-based nutraceutical industry worth over $US2.5 billion in that country alone.

research

"Based on the information before us, I have instructed the Scientific Research Council (SRC) to lead efforts to galvanise stakeholders interested in research and development of medical marijuana. I would like to encourage further serious scientific research and to issue an invitation. If there is any Jamaican out there who is serious about research and development into marijuana, please contact the SRC, which will help you develop your research into commercially viable products," he urged.

The minister said the Government was very serious about science, technology, and innovation and recognised its potential to grow the economy out of the current situation.

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