Month: March 2018

Ministry of Health Warns Against the use of Unregistered Cannabis Products for Medical and Therapeutic Purposes

The Ministry of Health is advising the public against the use of unregistered Cannabis Products for medical and therapeutic purposes.

The Ministry of Health recommends that Medical Cannabis products have a maximum Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of 5% and is concerned about the potential negative public health effects that may arise from the use of unregistered cannabis products of which the (THC) content is unknown. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main mind-altering ingredient found in the Cannabis plant.

According to the Food and Drugs Act, any substance manufactured, sold or represented for use in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention of a disease, disorder or symptoms is classified as a drug and must be registered, and the requisite permits obtained from the Ministry of Health.  

Additionally, the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2015 which has decriminalized ganja for specific purposes, cannabis remains classified as a controlled drug under the Food and Drugs Act (1975).   Also, in accordance with the provisions of the Pharmacy Act, the compounding, dispensing, storing for sale or retailing of drugs must be done at a registered pharmacy and by a registered pharmacist.  Therefore, any company that is currently selling cannabis products for medical and therapeutic purposes is in breach of The Food and Drugs Act (1975) and The Pharmacy Act. 

Companies are being advised to consult with the Ministry of Health’s Standards and Regulations Department, Pharmacy Council of Jamaica and the Cannabis Licensing Authority if they wish to manufacture or distribute cannabis products, to ensure that proper standards and procedures are followed and that their operations are in keeping with the relevant laws of Jamaica.

There is a process in place for registration of Medical and Therapeutic Cannabis Product that starts with the application for registration by the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health wishes to reiterate that it does not support, for medicinal and therapeutic purposes, the smoking of cannabis and the use of edibles containing cannabis.