The Jamaican authorities have entered into a partnership agreement with the Harvard Institute of Phytomedicine and Cannabis. With the support of American scientists, a center for research on cannabis and other plants will be created on the island.
Medical hemp as a factor in economic development
The Jamaican Institute of Phytomedicine and Cannabis will study the medicinal properties of plants and develop pharmaceutical and nutraceutical (food products for disease prevention) drugs based on them. The project will be led by the Council for Economic Development and the Ministry of Industry.
Industry Minister Audley Shaw said that this year the market for phytomedical products will reach $ 111 billion, with an average annual industry growth rate of 7.2%. According to officials, Jamaica will be able to make good money on phytomedicine due to biodiversity: 52% of plants with healing properties grow on the island. According to Shaw, over 85% of Jamaicans treat the most common diseases with elixirs made from various plants.
Jamaica insufficiently uses natural resources
Audley Shaw noted that Jamaica can no longer rely solely on sugar production. He believes that the country should diversify its business, in particular, create a phytomedicine industry. The Minister drew attention to the large area of fertile virgin land on which cannabis and other plants with medicinal potential can be sown.
According to Wilfred Ngwa, Director of Harvard Global Health Catalyst, the uniqueness of the Jamaican project lies in the fact that it implies the creation of a complete production cycle for herbal preparations – from seed to the final product. Vice-President of the Council for Economic Development Sheren Smith claims that the Institute of Phytomedicine will be able to guarantee the safety and effectiveness of manufactured medicines, as they will be tested during clinical trials. In the process of drug development, they plan to use artificial intelligence and biotechnology at the Harvard Institute.
The project will be attended by local agronomists and doctors practicing traditional medicine. The knowledge and experience of the healers will be subjected to critical analysis and used for scientific purposes. From September 30 to October 2, American experts visited the Jamaican centers for the study of cannabis and other plants. In September, the cannabis conference and exhibition CanEx was held in the country for business representatives and investors from the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and South America.