Jamaica is to soon have a phytomedicine and cannabis institute.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture, the new institute is part of a research partnership with the US-based Harvard International Phytomedicine and Medical Cannabis Institute.

Phytomedicine is a plant-based traditional medicinal practice that uses various plant materials in preventive and therapeutic processes.

The team from Harvard was invited to Jamaica to help the country become globally competitive in the cannabis industry.

The Ministry says the institute will explore Jamaica’s vast botanical resources and validate the country’s medicinal plants for safety, efficacy, and dosage in clinical use.

The Economic Growth Council, EGC, and the Ministry are coordinating the project.

Addressing a press conference at his office in New Kingston yesterday, Portfolio Minister, Audley Shaw, said the global phytomedicine industry is expected to reach US$111-billion.

The industry is said to be growing by an average 7% each year.
Minister Shaw says Jamaica stands to benefit largely from the new and emerging field.

EGC Vice President, Dr. Sherene Smith, says the institute will facilitate joint research, biotechnology, and informatics to patent and commercialise plants and plant extracts.