We all watched cannabis win big last week in America as California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada voted to legalize adult-use cannabis and Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana voted to legalize medical cannabis. Even before Tuesday’s votes were tallied, legalization of cannabis had been moving swiftly within the United States, where medical cannabis is legal in some form in 25 states. But legalizing cannabis around the world has also had forward momentum this year.
Within the last year: 1) Australia federally legalized the growing of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes, 2) Uruguay saw its cannabis program get off the ground with its first legal cannabis harvest in June, 3) Columbia decriminalized adult-use cannabis and legalized cannabis for medical and scientific research purposes, 4) the first ExpoWeed Mexico was held in August, and 5) Jamaica decriminalized small amounts of cannabis, established a licensing agency called the CLA, or Cannabis Licensing Authority, and is in the process of setting up regulations for the cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, transportation and consumption of medical cannabis.
Global cannabis market opportunities are on the radars of investors too. Investors are watching emerging cannabis markets in Canada, Israel, Spain, and Australia…even Mexico, Uruguay, Chile and Jamaica. No major companies have emerged from the Jamaican market yet. That’s where Oaksterdam University comes in.
Oaksterdam University and Jamaica – Partnering For Success
Oaksterdam University is in its second year of partnering with various Jamaican organizations to provide guidance regarding medical cannabis regulation best practices as well as to educate those who are interested in working within this nascent enterprise. Embracing cannabis is a great thing for Jamaica. The country has earnestly worked to establish serious fiscal plans, adopt practical macroeconomic policies, and create a friendly climate for outside investors. Perhaps the immediate opportunity for economic growth lies in ‘ganja tourism’ or ‘health and wellness tourism,’ which has the potential to provide the same kind of economic success that has occurred in states like Colorado and Washington. As Jamaica moves forward, we all realize the importance of implementing the needs and considerations of local farmers who have been growing cannabis for years as well as the needs of patients, caregivers, and anyone involved in the industry.
“Based on our involvement with Jamaica, we believe that the country’s cannabis industry will evolve with very positive outcomes,” said Dr. Aseem Sappal, Oaksterdam’s Provost and Dean of Faculty. “An example of this is evident in the upcoming Rastafari Rootzfest™ to be held December 9th to 11th this year.”
The annual festival was launched in November 2015 as Jamaica’s first legal ganja event after receiving approval from Cabinet and the Ministry of Justice in August. The now annual event is sponsored by the Tourism Enhancement Fund in the Ministry of Tourism and endorsed by the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Ministry of Entertainment Culture Gender and Sports, the Negril Chamber of Commerce and the Westmoreland Hemp & Ganja Farmers Association.
“Rastafari Rootzfest is a three day and night celebration of Jamaica’s indigenous culture with a focus on the education of grassroots farmers and investors through its seminar series ,” said veteran ganja advocate Ras Iyah V, who leads the festival’s management team. “We are working with a wide circle of strategic partners in the Rastafari, grassroots and cannabis fraternities to ensure the sustainable success of Rastafari Rootzfest as a strategic annual calendar event for Jamaica’s cannabis, tourism, wellness and entertainment industries.”
“Oaksterdam is pleased to be the main festival sponsor of Rastafari Rootzfest,” said Sappal. “Attendees will gain valuable information about cannabis and the related industries emerging in Jamaica and worldwide. Our goal is to empower the Rastafarian and grassroots communities to connect with economic opportunities in Jamaica and beyond. Exhibitors, growers, and attendees will have the opportunity to network with stakeholders in the local and global cannabis industry.”
If you’ve dreamed of visiting Jamaica, attending Rastafari Rootzfest would certainly be a great introduction to the indigenous Rastafari culture, Jamaica’s ganja strains, and the country’s wellness legacy. VIP travel packages are available. Book online or call toll-free at 212-803-7212.