Top Trends in Cannabis for 2019
2018 ended a phenomenal year for the Cannabis industry. In spite of the World Health Organisation postponing its rescheduling of its classification of Marijuana, we saw full legalization for medicinal and recreational use in Canada, the fist G7 nation to do so, paving the way for full global legalization.
With recent findings, one has to wonder how profound the lack of integrity of the doctors who conducted these now suspect studies were. The level of disingenuous behaviour is criminal. But we are moving away from the past and despite still being fraught with an uphill battle, Ganja is going to regain its rightful place in the human story.
2019 should see more movements along all lines of the industry. In a perhaps protectionist move, the United States President recently signed into law a new Farm Bill, legalising the production and processing of hemp and hemp products containing less that 0.3 % THC levels. The DEA still believes THC, the medicinal, yet psychoactive compound produced by the plant, is harmful and that the plant itself is useless. The plant that produces the same CBD the law has legalized. This is an attempt to synthesize the plant’s compounds and criminalizing the rest. Basically, you must buy from them, or go to jail. The rest of the world won’t have that problem and as individual states are proving; the United States eventually won’t either.
Politics aside, the long and short is that the Marijuana, Ganja, Cannabis and weed industries are going to continue to dominate discussions in financial circles as much as small farmers on the outskirts of Orange Hill, Jamaica. It’s a hot topic. Here are a few areas we can be sure to see activity in coming months.
The Growth of Ganja Tourism
As soon as Ganja was decriminalized in Jamaica, dreams of a new industry filled the air of resort towns like Negril and cosmopolitan cities like Kingston. A new era had begun.
Following Colorado, the mega state California joined the ranks of independent thinkers and legalized Cannabis across the board for medicinal and adult recreational use. A little to the East and Nevada joined the ranks. Massachusetts became the first state in the Eastern US to legalize use. New York City, the location that consumes the largest amount of cannabis worldwide weighing in at 77.44 metric tonnes compared to second place Karachi, Pakistan, consuming 41.97 metric tonnes on average per year, is set to legalize Ganja in 2019. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stated “We have a chance to create a brand-new industry that will lift up everyday New Yorkers,” he said, “And we have a chance to choke off corporate America in the process and not let them get their greedy hands on this industry here in this state.”
With New York in the mix, all of the major tourist destinations in the US will be open for business. We know Ganja tourism is next on the horizon. Nevada has already opened Planet 13, the largest dispensary/ entertainment centre dedicated to the consumption and enjoyment of the Ganja plant, in all its forms.
As this trend continues, we will have Ganja tourism in Jamaica shortly. Brand Jamaica is about to get the biggest boost it could ever get. Imagine if we tried that years ago. (See Ganjadventure Tours)
Funnily, this is illegal in Jamaica. Apparently the law books do not stipulate the form of consumption but speak only to smoking. This is a quandary for those who wish to partake or medicate themselves without burning holes in their bed sheets or having to purchase additional apparatus such as vape pens and kits. The year ended with Ganja edibles being the number one “Googled” term pertaining to the industry. According to USA Today, marijuana edibles will be the number one food and beverage trend for 2019.
Yes there are issues about proper dosage and over dosage, which largely leads to the need for a long rest if one is exposed to a THC infused food item. There have been little damaging effects reported with the exception of people being overly freaked out.
Make no mistake, people are curious and this is a trend that will catch on. Couple this with tourism experiences and well, a trend starts to form.
Already in use in the US, are Marijuana vending machines. Functional vending machines that can only be used with a medical dispensary card issued through the recommendation of a doctor. There is talk of placing these in Jamaica’s major airports, one industry pioneer in Jamaica, Epican is taking the lead. According to CEO Karibe McKenzie explained that the technology mitigates the potential for misuse abuse. “The CLA (Cannabis Licencing Authority) has never seen anything like it before so they are very excited and impressed because it not only uses the card that you receive but also your biometrics. Because we wouldn’t want a situation where a kid could steal their parents’ card and come to the machine and access it.”
Yes, readily available medication and presumably recreational goodies are around the corner. If we could get some of those edibles in these machines, we may really be unto something.
This already happens; we’re just adding it to the legal list. Although the licensing fees to transport Ganja legally in Jamaica are as high as USD $10,000.00, either the CLA has in mind a few single operators in the space or permissions will be extended to cultivators and distributors as well. The new economy of convenience will dictate the distribution strategies for this medicine, religious and more widely accepted recreational product.
Well, this is at least what Jamaica is calling them. With full legalization expect to see smoke/ vape specific locations without much if any alcohol being served. Much like the Coffee Shops in the Netherlands, this is likely to be a huge hit in Jamaica for visitors and locals alike. The tradition of gathering in groups and engaging in discussion and or playful behaviour, has definitely extended to Jamaica. Popular locations like Mi Yard in Negril, Mobay Proper in Montego Bay and Stone’s Throw in Kingston allow for these crowds, not by selling, but by facilitating a comfortable atmosphere. Let this culture blossom in Jamaica, the cultural and economic changes will be visible.
Legal Cross Border Drug Trafficking
Yes, despite the UN treaties and the US Federal blockage of the legalization of Ganja, Jamaica will see an increase in export traffic between Jamaica and Canada. With Canadian suppliers already speaking of a shortage of product and Jamaica’s timeless achievement with the exportation of the first legal Cannabis oil shipment to Canada by Timeless Herbal Care, we’re looking at the opening up of a legal market throughout Northernmost, North America.
2018, was a landmark year for the Cannabis industry. As is happening globally, the herb is coming out of the “bushes” in Jamaica and what is being developed is something potentially beautiful.