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Founder and Director of CanEx Jamaica, Douglas Gordon.

Involve small farmers in cannabis industry

With the development of the cannabis industry in the Caribbean, one leading figure in the Jamaican cannabis sector is urging those in charge to involve the small farmers.

Founder and Director of CanEx Jamaica, Douglas Gordon, made this clear during his remarks at the CanEx Cannabis Investment Summit, which took place on Tuesday evening.

He believes it is paramount to involve the Rastafarian community, the medical fraternity, and the like, as he considers them to be key stakeholders.

“Too often we talk about the small farmer as a sort of charity case, but really what you have there is a vested community that understands the plant and are passionate about what it can deliver. But they are not trained and they do not understand completely, some of them, what a new business regime looks like, and its incumbent on us that may understand what a traditional cannabis infrastructure looks like better…to incorporate those players into the process, so we can go forward with a very wholesome industry,” he said.

“We have to recognise that there is a skillset and attachment to this plant that a lot of smaller farmers have and as we move forward, we have to incorporate them in some way so that they can rest assured that they are part of the whole process. Too often what we do, it sounds belittling when we talk to them, and the truth is, that their skillset is very, very valuable to creating the final output that is required.”

Gordon went on to note that while the cannabis industry can provide enormous economic benefits for the region, it is important not to get caught up in the money opportunities, as the reason persons are embarking on the project, first and foremost, are for the health benefits.

He added that too often, persons get side-tracked by the economic benefits and they forget that below the surface there are different stresses about what comes along with the industry, explaining that if persons do not have a conviction on why they are doing this, it would be very easy for them to get disillusioned, distracted or completely abandon the process.

It is against this backdrop that Gordon thinks it is important for the small farmers and investors and members of the business communities to
work hand in hand, as this sector presents the incredible opportunity to affect people for the better in the future.

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