Kronic Relief Jamaica is eyeing March to May of next year to begin reaping cannabis at its Crystal Springs farm, which it expects to yield one metric tonne per week.
But CEO Steven Conville says that that is just the starting point. The company, which says it has seven provisional licences approved by Cannabis Licensing Authority ranging from planting to export is entering the ganja market as a raw material supplier but aims to eventually build itself into a vertically integrated medical cannabis operation, spanning research and development, production, and extraction.
The Crystal Springs property is now being readied for planting, a process that includes clearing land to erect a growing facility, fencing of the property, and mounting cameras as a security measure against praedial thieves.
“We’re doing a hybrid greenhouse structure, and we’ll be able to crank out 50 metric tonnes of cannabis every year, but it will be of a higher quality,” said Conville of the US$20 million investment being made in the project.
The hybrid greenhouses will use light enhancement, LEDs, that come on at dusk, go off at night, back on at early morning, and complementing natural light in overcast conditions.
Kronic Relief projects that the annual 50 metric tonnes of cannabis it produces will generate revenue of US$20 million, according to the CEO. This covers ‘flower only’. Any revenues from further processing would be additional, but no estimate has been done, he said.
Sales will be targeted at Canada, at least in the first instance, since that country will be legalising cannabis for recreational use come October 2018.
Conville say that is in Jamaica’s interest to grow high-quality cannabis to gain a comparative edge over other countries with the capacity to develop bigger fields, including places like Colombia.
As to financing, and the reluctance of the banks to engage, Corville was optimistic that eventually, a more favourable environment would unfold, given the foreign participation in Jamaica’s cannabis market.
“We believe that the top five Canadian commercial producers would not be on the island if they weren’t sure that the Canadian and Jamaican governments would be able to work it out,” Conville said.
Source: The Gleaner
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Jamaica has asked its central bank to find a solution to banking issues that are tripping up development of the country’s medical cannabis industry. Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, said the government considers medical cannabis a potential catalyst for the country’s struggling economy, the Jamaica Observer reported.
“The whole issue of banking arrangements, formal banking arrangements, has to be addressed,” he said. Vaz said MMJ companies are excluded from the formal banking sector because of existing laws and banking regulations.
He made the comments at the launch of Kronic Relief Jamaica, a new medical marijuana company that received seven licenses from the Cannabis Licensing Authority.
Henry Lowe, a scientist and cannabis researcher, warned that Jamaica was in danger of “missing a great opportunity” presented by cannabis.
The Government has asked the Bank of Jamaica to find a solution to the banking difficulties that have been hampering development of the medical cannabis industry.
This development was shared last Wednesday by Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, who said the Administration regards the burgeoning medical therapeutic cannabis industry as “a serious industry for growth in the economy”.
According to Vaz, the exclusion of players in the medical cannabis industry from the formal banking sector was a result of existing laws and banking regulations.
“We, as a Government, realise that to get to the true potential of this industry, which is a gigantic industry, the whole issue of banking arrangements, formal banking arrangements, has to be addressed,” he told guests at the launch of Kronic Relief Jamaica Ltd, the newest entrant to the medical therapeutic industry.
The event, held at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa on Lady Musgrave Road in Kingston, celebrated the company receiving seven licences from the Cannabis Licensing Authority to begin operating in Jamaica.
Kronic Relief Jamaica was founded by CEO Steven Conville and plans to build a 250,000-square-foot growing and processing facility which, the company said, will employ hundreds of people. Ground for the company will be broken later this year. In an impassioned address, Conville, a naturalised Jamaican who was born in Canada to Jamaican parents, spoke glowingly about his heritage and what led him to invest in the country.
He outlined his vision for the company, the overall local industry and for positing Jamaica as a cannabis-producing leader on the world stage.
In thanking his friend and mentor Dr Henry Lowe, renowned scientist and cannabis researcher, Conville appealed for unity among all stakeholders in realising the potential of this industry.
While agreeing with the assessment regarding the challenges facing the industry, Conville offered some positive insight about the current state of affairs: “We are moving in the right direction, in terms of a national perspective on cannabis including even first world powers such as the United States.”
He said Jamaica should be a major global player for cannabis production going forward, as the island is already perceived as a leader in cannabis production.
In his address Dr Lowe echoed the sentiments regarding the current fetters to the development of the medical cannabis industry and bemoaned the current level of bureaucracy facing the industry.
He warned that Jamaica was in danger of missing a great opportunity presented by cannabis.
Aaron Ali, Kronic Relief Jamaica’s head of horticulture, gave the audience a brief scientific overview of the company’s cannabis-growing practices and how it intends to develop various high-quality products.
The company, in a news release, said that regular updates on its progress will be posted on the KRJ website: kronicreliefjamaica.com.
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Watch all videos on Steven Conville’s YouTube Channel!