The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) says it aims to issue its 100th license before the end of the 2021 fiscal year.

Felicia Bailey, CLA director of research development and communications, said during a JIS Think Tank event on Aug. 27 that the authority is focused on achieving this goal through a reduction in the application processing time.

“The CLA started the 2020/2021 financial year with a renewed vision to be the global benchmark for excellence in the medical cannabis industry,” Bailey said. “Our mission is to effectively regulate the legal handling of ganja and hemp and issue licenses, permits and authorization to enable the development of a sustainable medical cannabis industry in Jamaica.”

The authority has issued 67 ganja licenses to local companies and individuals since its establishment in 2015. In addition, there are 21 applicants at the “license granted” stage of the process.

Bailey noted that the CLA’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for processing time is now six months, which is a reduction compared to the more than eight-month period that previously existed.

“The CLA continues to try to review and process applications in a timely manner to meet this KPI. After reviewing the process and making changes, some applications are now being processed within three months,” she said.

Bailey noted that the authority’s revised application processing time of six months is among the shortest periods across the world, including countries such as the United States, Canada, Columbia and Australia.

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This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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