THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
CANADIAN FIRM MAKES $100 MILLION INVESTMENT IN JAMAICAN GANJA —09/16/15
Timeless Herbal Care, a company based in Canada, announced that it will invest $100 million in the cultivation of medical marijuana in Jamaica. The company, also known as THC, is led by Courtney Betty, a Jamaican-Canadian, who wants to create jobs for Jamaicans and encourage medical tourism through his investment. Tourists who have medical marijuana prescriptions will be able to apply for permits that will let them purchase the herb in Jamaica.
JAMAICAN CONSIDERING PROPOSAL ON CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE—09/17/15
The Senate in Jamaica plans to debate legislation proposing that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) be made the nation’s court of final appeal. The legislation would amend Jamaica’s constitution to replace the United Kingdom Privy Council with the CCJ as the country’ final appeals panel. Twelve of 15 member states in CARICOM have signed on to the CCJ, and all 12 use the court as a court of Original Jurisdiction to interpret and apply the treaty that established the organization.
HOSPITALS IN JAMAICA CONTEND WITH “SICK OUT” BY NURSES—09/18/15
The Ministry of Health in Jamaica has put emergency protocols in place following the absence of 52 percent of hospital and clinic nurses during a “sick out” action undertaken by the nurses’ union. The Nurses Association of Jamaica’s third vice president Claudine Douglas said that most of the nurses who reported absent were “socially and mentally not well” due to the delay in wage payments, which have been due since 2013. The Health Ministry has contacted the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security about the matter.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
PARDONS GIVEN TO NINE JAMAICANS JAILED IN CUBA—09/17/15
The Cuban government plans to release some 3,500 prisoners as a show of good will in advance of the pending visit by Pope Francis to the country. Of 11 Jamaicans held in Cuban jails, nine will be released as part of this gesture. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Jamaica has recognized the action by Cuba “with appreciation.” The freed Jamaicans, who include eight men and one woman, were held for various crimes, with minimum sentences ranging from ten to 25 years. The Ministry joined with the Jamaican Embassy in Havana to secure the prisoners’ release.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
NEW PORTS FOR CRUISE SHIPS UNDER CONSIDERATION—09/17/15
With the success of the Falmouth port, which opened for business in 2011, stakeholders in Jamaica are calling for additional development for cruise ship ports in new locations along the country’s coastlines. Hug Buchanan, Member of Parliament from St. Elizabeth parish, wants a cruise port to be constructed in Black River. He believes it should be a priority for Jamaica’s government to bring tourists to the southern coast, and developing a cruise ship port there would encourage tourism there.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
STREET IN TORONTO TO BE NAMED IN HONOR OF REGGAE HERITAGE—09/18/15
The Canadian city of Toronto plans to rename a street “Reggae Lane” in recognition of the area’s significant role in the history of reggae music. An official renaming ceremony will occur on September 19, 2015. Residents in the neighborhood plan to display a mural with a reggae theme in the lane, along with a Toronto heritage plaque that features the names of reggae artistes like Leeroy Sibbles and Jackie Mittoo. The stretch of road was home to numerous record stores, recording studios, and performers’ homes during the 1970s and 1980s.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
SPORTS SCHOOL NAMED FOR USAIN BOLT PLANNED FOR TRELAWNY—09/13/15
The government of Jamaica plans to develop a sports school to be named in honor of Usain Bolt, the country’s Olympic sprint champion. The school will be located in a stadium in Bolt’s home town in Trelawny. According to Natalie Neita-Headley, Jamaica’s Minister of Sports, the project represents a priority for the government, which has allocated $220,000 to begin the project.