The Cannabis Licensing Authority, CLA, says foreign banking concerns continue to limit the ability of the regulatory body to grow Jamaica’s fledgling marijuana industry.
CLA Chairman, Cindy Lightbourne, was called on yesterday by Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, PAAC, to outline its plans to better facilitate small farmers.
Ms. Lightbourne told the PAAC that the continued hesitance of foreign banks to touch Jamaica’s marijuana industry is one of the major stumbling blocks.
However, Ms. Lightbourne told lawmakers the issues surrounding correspondent banking present a significant challenge.
Representatives of the CLA and the Agriculture Ministry have been under scrutiny by legislators from both sides of the political divide for perceived failures to better incorporate small farmers into the cannabis industry.
Lawmakers believe tough regulations and a lengthy, expensive licensing process are discouraging these individuals.
However, Ms. Lightbourne while outlining several policies being pursued by the CLA to address this problem pointed to examples in which the lack of banking is undermining their efforts.
In response, Member of Parliament for South Trelawny, Marisa Dalrymple-Phillibert, questioned if the CLA was selling false hope to those interested in taking part.