In the months since, several companies have released a number of nutraceuticals and topical pain products derived from cannabis. Notwithstanding, McDonald said, The UWI is interested in the whole plant. “Our interest is in unraveling the science behind ganja,” he said. It’s a philosophy shared by its major partners including Citiva Medical, which Stanley a co-founder said, includes the belief “that the future of cannabinoid medicine lies in strict adherence to unraveling the science”. As head of The UWI Cannabis Research Group, McDonald is expecting even more successes with new technologies, new investments, new partners and if negotiations go well, he is also looking forward to creating improved versions of Canasol and Asmasol. US Federal legislation classification of cannabis the plant as a class 1 drug has forced the Jamaican government to tread lightly, even as it granted permits to The UWI and others. Regardless, the University is accelerating its research, construction of green houses, the cultivation of several species of cannabis and the signing of MOUs with agencies and organisations from across the globe.
“The UWI Mona Campus will lead the world in medical cannabis (marijuana) research” Professor Archibald McDonald, Principal of The UWI Mona Campus
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ZADIE NEUFVILLE
There are several proposals awaiting the regulations and profiling must be done quickly to continue supporting the research and development. To aid the process, more than US$600,000 have been spent to upgrade the equipment in CARITOX, the Toxicology lab. “We are expecting that many products will be produced and have to be tested and quality checked for them to be marketed. We also expect the USDA will soon come up with regulations on cannabis-derived medicines and we are preparing to meet them,” Lindsay said. Construction of The UWI Mona Cannabis Research Centre and supporting facilities to expand the institutions research capacity and house its partners is estimated to cost some US$4 million. McDonald is expecting that funding from partners will equip and build the new facility as “their contribution to The UWI’s 40-year cannabis research legacy, accommodation and the prestige of brandJamaica”.