Agreement Signed for Cannabis Pilot Project in Accompong St Elizabeth

A tripartite agreement was signed on Monday (July 8) to implement a cannabis pilot programme in Accompong St. Elizabeth, under the Cannabis Licensing Authority’s (CLA) Alternative Development Project.The agreement was signed by representatives of the CLA, Accompong Town Maroons, and Timeless Herbal Care, during a press conference at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries’ New Kingston office.The Alternative Development Project is being implemented as a strategy to transition traditional cannabis farmers from an illicit framework into the regulated environment, as a means of promoting sustainable economic development and poverty eradication.It is also aimed at providing access to quality-controlled cannabis for medicinal purposes in keeping with government policy.Portfolio Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, said that the signing will ensure that traditional growers of ganja/marijuana are not left out of the formal cannabis system.“This is what it is about. We are, therefore, putting together this pilot project, and we are here for the signing of the first of two major pilot projects,” he said, noting that another signing will be done for a project in Orange Hill, Westmoreland.Meanwhile, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dermon Spence explained that the tripartite agreement sets out the terms and conditions under which the total crop of cannabis cultivated, in accordance with the authorisation issued to the traditional cultivation community (Accompong Town Maroons), will be purchased by the Authority (CLA) for the sale of an agreed amount to the downstream buyer (Timeless Herbal Care).“Much consideration has been given to the setting up of the arrangement,” he said, noting that the roles and responsibilities of each entity has been carefully outlined.Mr. Spence said that Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is expected to launch the Alternative Development Project later this year.Meanwhile, Colonel of the Accompong Town Maroons, Ferron Williams, said he hopes that from the programme “farmers will be able to send their children to school and to have a better way of life”.President and Chief Executive Officer, Timeless Herbal Care, Courtney Betty, expressed appreciation to the CLA for “pushing through” with the project.“We are trying to build an industry in Jamaica for all of us, and the opportunities are great, not just for cannabis, but for any other project such as nutraceutical and cosmeceutical,” he noted.“The world is waiting for Jamaican products, and this is a major step in leveraging the history of health and wellness of the Maroons… that is going to be a model for the rest of the world to look at,” Mr. Betty added. A tripartite agreement was signed on Monday (July 8) to implement a cannabis pilot programme in Accompong St. Elizabeth, under the Cannabis Licensing Authority’s (CLA) Alternative Development Project. Story Highlights The Alternative Development Project is being implemented as a strategy to transition traditional cannabis farmers from an illicit framework into the regulated environment, as a means of promoting sustainable economic development and poverty eradication. The agreement was signed by representatives of the CLA, Accompong Town Maroons, and Timeless Herbal Care, during a press conference at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries’ New Kingston office. read more

Georges River Bridge in St Andrew Rehabilitated

It was officially re-opened by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a ceremony on Wednesday (August 21). Residents of Mavis Bank and adjoining areas in East Rural St. Andrew now have easier access to their communities, following the rehabilitation of the Georges River Bridge in the constituency.The bridge, which is located in Violet Bank, was renovated at a cost of $21 million by the National Works Agency (NWA).It was officially re-opened by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a ceremony on Wednesday (August 21).The project was initiated by Member of Parliament, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, who, in her address during the ceremony, said the undertaking was a strategic move in a bid to improve the quality of life for the constituents.In his remarks, Prime Minister Holness, who commended the NWA for the work undertaken, noted that the previous bridge, which was some 15 feet wide, was an impediment for motorists, as it could only accommodate one vehicle at a time.The bridge has now been expanded to 36 feet and can now accommodate two large vehicles simultaneously.Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (right), views the newly rehabilitated Georges River Bridge in East Rural St. Andrew. Also looking on are: Member of Parliament for the constituency, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness (centre), and National Works Agency (NWA) Communication and Customer Services Manager, Stephen Shaw. Prime Minister Holness officially reopened the bridge during a ceremony on Wednesday (August 21). Story Highlights The bridge, which is located in Violet Bank, was renovated at a cost of $21 million by the National Works Agency (NWA). Residents of Mavis Bank and adjoining areas in East Rural St. Andrew now have easier access to their communities, following the rehabilitation of the Georges River Bridge in the constituency. “It is high enough to allow for unimpeded flow of the stream that runs underneath [and] it is strong enough to be able to withstand the vagaries of climate change,” Mr. Holness informed.The Prime Minister noted that investing in the bridge is symbolic and part of ongoing work to improve the road conditions in the area and, in turn, boost the community’s economic capacity, particularly as a tourism attraction.“In improving the road conditions of Gordon Town, we have literally given new life to an economy which existed before with great potential [and] which is now expanding greatly… the tourism industry here is growing,” he said.Mr. Holness noted that widening the bridge is also important for agricultural access, especially for coffee farmers, as well as facilitating easier access for large trucks and moving material for ongoing construction work in the area.He encouraged motorists to refrain from speeding and to manoeuvre with care when using the bridge.The Prime Minister said he is aware that there are other bridges across the island that need attention, and assured that they will be dealt with in short order.These include: the Windsor, Grosmond, and Lacovia bridges in St. Elizabeth; Leith Hall and Ramble bridges in St. Thomas; Baxter’s Mountain Bridge in St. Mary; and the Montego River Bridge in St. James.“I want to assure you that your Prime Minister and your Government hear the cry. We are sensitive to it, and we have it programmed to be addressed in the same way that we have addressed the Version Gully Bridge in Bull Bay. We are now dealing with the Barracks River Bridge in St. Mary,” he said.Mr. Holness further informed that the Chesterfield Bridge in St. Mary is almost complete.“This Government is not ignoring your plight. We are doing what is necessary to address it speedily and in a systematic way. We might not be able to do it today or tomorrow, but I am giving you my commitment that we are going to do your bridge(s) in short order,” he assured. read more