by Eric Vengroff, Financial Analyst, Cannabis Daily
As a news aggregator in the cannabis space, we get some interesting stories. Naturally we follow developments of numerous cannabis companies. We recently reported about The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd.’s expansion into Denmark, and now they have announced another international deal – the opening of Epican Medicinals’ (“Epican”) first legal cannabis retail store in Jamaica, which opened last Saturday. TGOD owns 49.18% of Epican.
The ~4,000 sq. ft. dispensary in Kingston is the first of several Epican Herb Houses scheduled to be completed across Jamaica by the end of 2018. The stores intend to serve the island’s medical needs only, but they will also be available to tourists, presumably medical ones only as well. There was no explanation as to what proof a medical tourist would have to provide in our to acquire product from the retail stores, but in light of recent changes to the Jamaican law, this may be academic. In mid-2015, the country decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Reducing possession of under 2 ounces (or 56 grams) to a fine less than a parking ticket and allowing adult Rastafari to use cannabis for sacramental purposes are major steps to what for the first time are widely considered to be major steps to full marijuana legalization in Jamaica.
Jamaica has been synonymous with weed since it was popularized by Bob Marley and reggae music. However, despite marijuana’s close association with with the country, it was not legal in Jamaica and until recently, it was still a criminal offence. I have never been to Jamaica, so I don’t know how people will embrace this retail concept. Given that personal cultivation of up to 5 plants and possession of non-trivial amounts are permitted, the old analog of selling ice to northern indigenous populations comes to mind. Clearly, the business feels bullish, and the tourism element can be the big wild card here.
As Kush Tourism (https://kushtourism.com) reports, many Jamaicans are excited about the prospect of tourism in this burgeoning industry. Judging by the aesthetic presentation of this store, they appear to be off to a good start. “The Kingston dispensary is an important step in TGOD’s global strategy,” said Csaba Reider, President of TGOD. “Commercializing legalized, high-quality, organic medical cannabis to the market is proof of our commitment to portfolio companies and our ability to go beyond cash infusion. The Epican team are great business partners and we would like to thank all those involved who have made this day happen.”
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