How to legally grow ganja in Jamaica: Understanding the Cannabis Licensing Requirements

Any person/ entity wishing to operate in the legal cannabis industry in Jamaica is required to go through the application process as set out in the Dangerous Drugs (Cannabis Licensing) (Interim) Regulations.

The Cannabis Licensing Authority (“CLA”) was established in 2015 by the Dangerous Drug (Amendment) Act. The CLA primarily issue licences for cultivation, processing, retail sale, transportation and research of legal ganja and hemp products.

There are five categories of licences with eleven sub-categories. These categories are: Cultivator’s Licence, Processing Licence, Transport Licence, Retail Licence and Research and Development Licence. An applicant can apply for more than one type of Licence. You can submit multiple applications at once if you are interested in operating in multiple aspects of the industry. For example, you may want to have a licence to cultivate and then another licence to process or transport the cultivated product.

There are fees associated with each category type, as well as a non-refundable application processing fee and a security bond payable per licence applied for. All fees are quoted in United States Dollars The licence fees ranges from US$2,000- $10,000.

The licencing requirement also states that individuals wanting a Cultivator’s Licence must be living in Jamaica for 3 or more years and companies who are applying must be registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica and must also be substantially owned and controlled by a Jamaican resident.

It should also be noted that applicants are required to submit police reports and individuals with criminal records will not be allowed to apply and likewise, companies with directors with local or foreign criminal records will not be allowed to apply.

The process can be onerous as the requirements are often licence-specific and categorized. It is therefore advisable that applicants consult an Attorney-at-Law.

About Author:

Abi-Gaye White-Thomas B.A., LL.B (Hons)
Manchester, Jamaica

Tel: (876)964-4046
Whatsapp: (876)827-8050

Jamaica New Marijuana Law: What You Should Know

The Dangerous Drugs Amendment Act 2015 has not yet come into effect, but when it does please be mindful that the use of, possession of, and taking steps to import/export Marijuana is strictly regulated. Know the law and prevent the tarnishing of your criminal record, or the sanction of fines.


Possession of 2 ounces or less is no longer a criminal offence, which means that you should not be arrested for it. However, a police may issue a ticket for having this amount similar to a traffic ticket and the person has 30 days to pay JMD $500.00 at the Tax Office. It would appear that the criteria for a ticket is possession of the drug, so in order to avoid a sanction, then it would be safe to say that you still should not be found with marijuana, as a police officer can ticket at their discretion. If you are given a ticket and fail to pay, then the offender will be mandated to go to Petty Sessions court and will either be ordered to do community service or pay a fine $2,000.00. Failure to pay will result in a recording of the offence on a person’s criminal record.

Continue reading Jamaica New Marijuana Law: What You Should Know