STANDARDS BUREAU TO PROTECT JAMAICAN GANJA—05/03/15
The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) is responsible for developing regulations for the decriminalized ganja industry. The Bureau has created a 17-step proposal that is based on a tracking system. According to Professor Winston Davidson, chairman of the BSJ, all processes “from seed to sale” will be tracked and traced. Every plant can be labeled through radio frequency identification technology, so that if a plant does not have appropriate tracking information, it will be deemed illegal. The BSJ has also proposed a tax of 10 percent to 15 percent on ganja distributors.
CHINA APPROACHED BY UWI FOR FINANCING ASSISTANCE—05/04/15
A gap in funding for the University of the West Indies (UWI) caused by budget actions taken by the Jamaican government in regard to the institution could be filled by money from China. UWI has approached the Asia International Bank, which is headed by China, and the New Development Bank, which was created by Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa, as a source for infrastructural funding.
KELLIER RECEIVES APOLOGY FROM MAHFOOD—05/06/15
Just over a week after William Mahfood, president of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) described Derrick Kellier, the Minister of Agriculture, as acting like a “rogue minister” concerning the refined sugar cess, Mahfood recanted his remarks. He stated that, in hindsight, his comments were inappropriate and only reflected the continuing frustration that manufacturers face every year with actions proposed by the government.
JAMAICAN JEWS LOOKING TO TOURISM TO HELP THEIR COMMUNITY—05/07/15
Jamaica’s Jewish community is decreasing, and leaders believe that tourism could help the community to grow. In the 1800s, Jamaica had as many as eight synagogues and some 2,500 Jewish residents. Members of Temple Sha’are Shalom, the only remaining temple, are working to preserve their history and attract tourists who will appreciate it. The Jamaica Tourist Board is promoting a “Jewish Jamaica” travel package as part of “heritage tourism.” The package is meant to encourage visitors to hold family celebrations like weddings, bar mitzvahs, and bat mitzvahs on the island.