History is expected to be created next week when Jamaica's first medical marijuana company, which is intended to be instrumental in extracting the medicinal value from the addictive elements of ganja, comes into being.
Internationally renowned Jamaican scientist Professor Henry Lowe, the brainchild behind the initiative, has high hopes for the use of medical marijuana in Jamaica.
"If we do not move on medical marijuana, we will be left behind," Lowe told The Gleaner. "Since the turn of the 21st century, there has been increased recognition and public support for medical marijuana."
Lowe plans to list the company on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
"We are going to announce the establishment of a company that will produce and market medical marijuana. The formal announcement will take place on December 3, ahead of the launch of a book on the subject," he said.
TREAT RANGE OF CONDITIONS
There are indications that drugs produced from marijuana could be used to treat psychosis and severe pain, and Lowe asserted that inroads were being made into the treatment of mid-life crises in men.
Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson, who is leading a campaign to ban cigarette smoking in public areas, said while smoking marijuana has serious implications for a person's health, he fully supports its use for medicinal purposes.
"Jamaica can't lock off itself from the rest of the world or the research findings that are available. I want that to be very, very clear, that when it comes to medical marijuana, I am fully on board," said the minister.