The St Catherine Ganja Growers and Producers Association has blasted Parish Councils for seeking a share of
fees concerning the cultivation, processing, distribution, sale, and handling of marijuana within their particular jurisdiction.

The contentious regulations were passed on January 14 this year by the St Catherine Parish Council and have since been supported by resolutions passed by the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, Portmore Municipal Council and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation, KSAC. But the St. Catherine Ganja Growers say the move by the local government authorities is selfish.

The group says if the resolution becomes law, they will demand a five year moratorium on property taxes for ganja farmers. The ganja stakeholders say most marijuana farmers are poor people who are mostly squatting on captured land.

They blame the parish councils for failing to act in the best interests of these farmers so they can receive titles for the lands. The Cannabis Licensing Licensing Authority, CLA says it will be ready to accept application for ganja licences on April, 4.

Eleven types of licences will be made available for activities including the cultivation, transportation, processing and retailing of ganja.

The CLA says it’s seeking to encourage small farmers by waiving the payment of licence fees until after the first year of operations.