There is no site on planet earth more iconically connected with cannabis than Jamaica. For many people, it is one of the most incredible things they think of when imagining the nation along with reggae, Rastafarianism, Bob Marley, and Usain Bolt. Along with these, Ganja is a trendy name in Jamaica. If you have come for a visit and want to buy weed seeds in Jamaica, you’ve come to the right place!
Jamaican cannabis, recognized by many other names including ganja, marijuana, weed, marigold, spliff, or herb, has been prevalent on this island for more than a centenary.
In this article, we’ll take a tour of the Jamaican history of weed, legalization in the island, sales and purchase of cannabis in Jamaica, and much more.
Let’s begin with the footsteps of marijuana in Jamaica!
Ganja in the Jamaican History
Jamaica has strong associations with weed. Manier times, people refer to it as part of the culture of the island, along with Rastafarianism and music. However, cannabis didn’t appear in Jamaica until as late as the 1800s. This is far later than most other nations of the globe.
The enslaved East Indian laborers brought it to Jamaica, and slowly the Jamaican people adopted it for therapeutic and recreational objectives.
Cannabis quickly became a backbone in Jamaica, especially among the lower working classes of the community. It was popular in the rural countryside and the low, black areas of bigger towns.
The ‘white elite‘ and evangelical worshippers of the country introduced the Ganja Law in 1913. Under this law, people cannot use cannabis, and it also gave enforcers the power to apply brute violence against the offender who breaks it.
For numerous people, it was a symbol of colonial oppression and did nothing to decrease the number of weed users in the nation.
The authorities have changed the law, and it no longer penalizes the person having limited amounts of maryjane for private use.
Leonard P Howell and other Rastafarian dignitaries included cannabis into their sacred traditions in the 1930s. They declared that marijuana had strong Hebrew roots.
Cannabis and Rastafarians
In the past, the authorities used to persecute the Rastafarians of Jamaica for their usage of marijuana, which takes a leading role in their ethical rituals.
The hatred towards Rastafarians reached a pinnacle in 1963, throughout the Coral Gardens Massacre. The first prime minister of the nation, Prime Minister Bustamante, was cited for having said: “bring in all Rastas, dead or alive.” The police duly satisfied his demand.
They imprisoned over 400 people after the event, and the government declared jail punishments even for those who owned small amounts of weed.
It was a very unsettling event for the Jamaican Rastafarian people as they see cannabis as a sacrament. The plant also has profound spiritual importance for them, as they consider that it originated on the tomb of King Solomon.
A Rastafarian board member of the Cannabis Licencing Authority in Jamaica, Ras Iyah V, states that just as people eat when they are starving and drink when they are thirsty, they inhale ganja when they aspire to nourish their souls. It supports to attach you with your inner self, the God being.
Until 2015, the Rastafarians were not allowed even to smoke a single joint. Currently, the government of Jamaica has terminated its persecution and allows cannabis use by this minority club, as long as it is for religious usage.
Bob Marley – An Artist and Activist
Rastafarians are not the only Jamaicans who consume and enjoy the herb. The most famous cannabis advocate of Jamaica was born in 1945. Bob Marley became a legend in his life. He was that unique combination of Artist and Advocate that appears once in a generation.
In 1966, Bob Marley changed from Catholicism to become a Rastafarian, and he became a weed convert as well.
He thought the herb a “sacrament” and has many famous quotes in support of the holy herb, one of the most popular is this one:
“When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.”
Cannabis Legalization in Jamaica
Although the marijuana legalization movement started in Jamaica in the 1960s, it took almost 50 years for Jamaica to authorize. It was just at the time for what would have been Bob’s 70th birth anniversary.
Marijuana was illegal in Jamaica until mid-2015 when the nation passed an act to its existing drug law that decriminalized possession for personal usage.
Possession and Consumption of Cannabis in Jamaica
Before 2015, people could not possess and use cannabis in Jamaica. It comes as an astonishment to many, as the international media often portray Jamaica as a heaven for weed lovers.
The old rules indicated that the person whom the police will catch having cannabis with them would face a sentence up to five years in jail and a penalty of up to $100 per ounce. He/she might also get jail up to three years and a penalty.
Dangerous Drug Act
Jamaican government amended the Dangerous Drugs Act in 2015. The law had new rules about the legal state of marijuana. They are as following:
- The decriminalization of owning two ounces or less of weed – If the police catch the offender with a small amount, the police cannot arrest the offender or take him/her to court. They would also not mention it to their criminal record.
- The introduction of a ‘ticket fine‘ system – If the police find a person with two ounces or less cannabis, the police can issue a ticket similar to the driving offense tickets. The offender will have 30 days to settle J$500 to any tax office.
Moreover, possession of over two ounces of marijuana is still a criminal offense. The authorities can arrest and take the offender to court if they find any person having a more considerable amount of cannabis.
They can either give him a fine or a jail sentence. They would also note this in the person’s criminal record. You cannot use marijuana in public places or within five meters of the same. It is also the same law for cigarettes in Jamaica.
Public areas are listed explicitly in the Dangerous Drugs Act and include tourist establishments, pubs, government offices, restaurants, workplaces, and any other places that are open to the public.
The amendments refer to grown-ups and minors. However, if the police catch any minors with cannabis, it is referred to as the National Council on Drug Abuse. The same concerns to grown-ups who exhibit symptoms of being reliant on marijuana.
Exceptions to the Rules
According to the 2015 law amendments, the authorities have permitted the Rastafarians to use weed for sacred rituals. They can only do so in regions of Rastafarian worship areas.
Furthermore, if someone needs to use marijuana to treat symptoms connected with cancer or other terminal or critical chronic health states, the law now allows it. They can also import medical marijuana into the country.
As mentioned above, people with such medical conditions as cancer, terminal sickness, or severe chronic disease can import medical marijuana under the 2015 amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act.
To do so legally, patients must get certification from a certified medical practitioner, verifying that they are suffering from the ailment. The practitioner must also exceedingly prescribe the use of medicinal marijuana for them, and all imports must comply with laws.
CBD is also legal in Jamaica, as the government acknowledges that its THC levels are not notable enough to create a ‘high.’ Although the CBD business is in its fledgling steps, and as such, products are challenging to find. They are also often high-priced.
Tourists and Medical Marijuana
The Jamaican government allows visitors to Jamaica to use medicinal marijuana, providing they ask for permission. This license will enable them to buy and possess up to two ounces of weed at a time, for therapeutic objectives only.
The tourist must confirm that their medical expert recommended or prescribed it to them to get a permit. Otherwise, they can also sign a voluntary declaration to ensure this is the case. There is a charge associated too.
Can you Grow Marijuana in Jamaica?
In 2015, the government of Jamaica legalized the limited breeding of cannabis plants for private use only.
The Dangerous Drugs Act says that a person can grow up to five cannabis plants per house. Rastafarians who are of 18 or over can apply to grow cannabis for divine rituals.
Additionally, the government formed the Cannabis Licensing Authority. This sector of government will control and monitor the medicinal marijuana industry and cannabis cultivation for research objectives. The system also supervises the hemp industry of Jamaica.
Small quantities of weed cultivation may be allowed, but large-scale cultivation is not. However, this cannot prevent producers across the nation from cultivating the cannabis plant.
Jamaica is a “major illicit drug-producing country,” where farmers produce or harvest illicit marijuana in 5,000 hectares or more each year, according to The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.
Moreover, organizations or other SRC-approved groups may appeal to grow cannabis for scientific research and medicinal value. People can grow cannabis only in approved areas. If the authorities find out about relevant licenses, they exclude the growers from standard cannabis cultivation laws.
Certainly, Jamaica seems ready to cash in on its developing medicinal marijuana industry. In 2018, the producers shipped the first consignment of marijuana for medicinal purposes to Canada for examination. This event probably indicates the beginning of dealing between the two nations.
Sales and Supply of Weed in Jamaica
The companies in Jamaica can appeal for a cannabis retail license for therapeutic, scientific, or research purposes. The Cannabis Licensing Authority approves all requests.
For all other cases, you can not sell and supply marijuana in the country. The revisions to the Dangerous Drugs Act not only decriminalized marijuana use but also raised the cost of fines connected with selling and trafficking illicit drugs.
It is probably an attempt to tackle the significant drug trafficking problem in the country. Jamaica is the largest marijuana source in the Caribbean, according to The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (released by the US State Department).
People export cannabis that they have cultivated to other Caribbean countries to exchange firearms and other illegal substances.
It happens mostly because of the geographic position of Jamaica, and its coastline, which is tough to overlook. Taking account of the significant figures of visitors passing through each day, drug dealers often use ‘mules‘ to transport illegal items out of the land.
Where to Buy the Best Weed Seeds in Jamaica
For citizens of Jamaica, you can grow up to five of your own plants. For visitants to Jamaica, if you are sick or have a medical marijuana prescript from your homeland, you may buy a license that will enable you to purchase marijuana from particular medical marijuana stores or directly from breeders.
The updated drug laws of Jamaica allow the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries, the first of which started in 2018.
The doctor’s clinics, Amsterdam-style coffee shops, and hipster boutiques are currently the only areas where tourists to Jamaica can legitimately buy cannabis products.
ID proof such as a passport or driving license is needed (over 18 only) to buy goods. You should also have evidence of your medical requirement to purchase cannabis.
You can get the form of a doctor’s prescription from home or a consultation with an on-site medic. However, some dispensaries currently provide self-certification by the conclusion of a medical form.
People grow nearly two dozen distinguished Jamaican-grown Sativa, Indica, and hybrid strains of the herb on their own farms for therapeutic and medicinal objectives.
You can see a variety of products at these places, including marijuana buds, oil extracts, and cartridges for vaping. The new dispensaries take cannabis cultivation as seriously as wineries do their terroir.
The knowledgeable staff at the dispensaries can guide you through their areas and relative concentrations of THC and CBD, the active substances in cannabis.
Don’t fancy a cloud of haze when you go into a dispensary. Such dispensaries have secretive in-house smoking rooms that are away from the initial consultation and shopping areas.
Such organizations also run their own cafes and juice bars, giving ganja-free drinks. Due to more comprehensive international limitations on access to banking networks, these enterprises might be working with cash-only. So keep some cash on hand before you visit such places to buy cannabis in Jamaica.
This limitation of payment method indicates the slow growth of legalizing cannabis in Jamaica.
A Word of Caution!
Outside these dispensaries, unlicensed peddlers are taking benefit of the new permissiveness of the ganja rules. It’s not uncommon to see space cakes or similar edible things openly for trade in cafes or infused butter in your favorite meal. Be careful; the potency may vary widely.
You also have to be cautious when you get an offer to ganja farm tours as these remain unlicensed and, hence, illegal.
Jamaican Dispensaries to Get the Weed Seeds in Jamaica
The followings are the Jamaican dispensaries to have on your radar. Just remember that these dispensaries, while easy to access, only receive cash transactions.
Epican is one of the most successful cannabis stores in Jamaica. It offers a wide range of cannabis products to choose from. Each bud comes with a detailed history of its origin and the specific effects it will have on the user.
After you pick your strain, stroll over to the Hot Boxx, the smoking lounge Epican operates at Kingston and Montego Bay areas.
Kaya Herb House is appreciated for its award-winning strains and for presenting the unique seed-to-sale experience. It was the first legal marijuana dispensary in the Caribbean, and now has locations in St. Ann and Trelawney.
Kaya also proffers a farm tour and a cafe that infuses cannabis into the edibles. Just call before to verify the availability of a doctor if you don’t have a license.
This hotspot is the ideal beachfront place in Montego Bay. A Jamaican-American couple owns island Strains, and it has one of the best smoking bars on a hip strip.
If your purpose in Jamaica is to responsibly and legally utilize cannabis while staring out at the Caribbean Sea from a beachside deck, then Island Strains is the area to do it.
All three seedbanks offer a variety of cannabis strains with discreet packaging and amazing offers.
Cannabis Culture in Jamaica
Cannabis use is simply a way of life in Jamaica.
Jamaica has held tight to its rich marijuana world for many ages, and we can assume that to proceed moving ahead. Whether it is the Rastafarian belief or the ecstatic music scene that was made famous by Bob Marley, Jamaica has had a lively cannabis culture for almost 200 years.
It is not surprising to discover that your friends are growing weed seeds, and it is normal for people to buy and smoke it. If there is one nation where you can have a plan to sell cannabis, it is Jamaica!
You can observe the local cannabis culture wherever you go when you travel to this country. Many people consider this island as a heaven for cannabis enthusiasts.
The first Ganjamaica Cup was held in 2015, as a part of the Rastafari Rootzfest. Regional cannabis producers brought along 65 flowers and hash strains to come into the competition.
Experts examined the strains and recognized that hybridization was well set in most of them.
At Ganjamaica Cup, exhibitors, breeders, and attendees have the chance to connect with stakeholders in the regional and global cannabis community.
The upcoming Rastafari Rootzfest is on December 11-13,2020. Book your ticket HERE!
Stepping High Festival is a wellness and social event, approved by the Minister of Justice as an exempt festive. The Jamaica Tourist Board thoroughly recommends it.
It is the first and longest-running herb festival in the Caribbean taking place since 2004. Stepping High Festival is one of Jamaica’s calendar events drawing visitors from all over the world.
The Stepping High Festival promoters have been giving close consideration to the intimidation posed by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. After thoughtful concern, they have come to the unpleasant conclusion to suspend the festival slated for March 20 – 21, 2020, until further notification.
Modern Attitude Towards Cannabis
Approaches towards marijuana in Jamaica are most receptive. This wasn’t always the case, though.
In the past, many people in the nation were disappointed with the international perception of Jamaica as the ‘land of ganja,’ and the administration kept its stern anti-cannabis laws until 2015.
This has shifted in recent times. For instance, the law now understands the value of cannabis in Rastafarian rituals. something the government should have noticed a few decades ago.
Medical marijuana is legal, and the government allowed people to cultivate the plant in their own houses. In fact, Jamaica is now one of the most progressive nations in the Americas in terms of its rules.
It’s hard to say whether the Jamaican government will take the next move and fully legalize recreational marijuana use. At this time of writing, only a few nations in the world have done this, and it is still too quick to say what the consequence of their acts are.
Though, given the progressive reforms the nation has made to the Dangerous Drugs Act, full legalization might happen in Jamaica in the future.
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Enjoy watching the following video where Bob Marley talks about Marijuana!
- 1 Ganja in the Jamaican History
- 2 Cannabis Legalization in Jamaica
- 3 Where to Buy the Best Weed Seeds in Jamaica
- 4 Cannabis Culture in Jamaica
- 5 Modern Attitude Towards Cannabis
- 6 Summing Up