A harsh hurricane season followed by severe drought has contributed to a marijuana shortage in Jamaica. Farmers of the Caribbean island nation have lost tens of thousands in revenue.
With the stigma associated to its use having disappeared, as well as the decriminalization of possession in small amounts, supply of the illegal market can no longer keep up with demand. Even despite slower tourism traffic during the pandemic, many visitors to the island are still unable to find weed.
Some farmers have stopped growing because the standards required to participate in the legal industry are too expensive. And due to the enforced 6 pm curfew, farmers are unable to tend their fields at night.
Triston Thompson who works in Jamaica’s legal cannabis industry called the shortage “a cultural embarrassment”. The government licensing authority on cannabis denies the shortage, but some growers and activists call their assessment unreasonable since legal weed costs five to 10 times its street value which many cannot afford.
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