As Jamaica’s medical marijuana industry grows, researchers will seek out the island’s landrace strains to document and preserve its cannabis history.
“JMCC is fully committed to supporting the Jamaican medical cannabis industry every way we can and ensuring there are lasting benefits for the country and its people,” Diane Scott, JMCC’s Chief Executive Officer, told Forbes. “As Jamaican medical cannabis grows in popularity, there is a real threat that the country’s unique strains will be lost or irrevocably contaminated by hybridization, and it was important for us to be able to help to preserve what we believe are some of the best medical cannabis strains in the world.”
As the global cannabis industry continues to expand, cultivators across the world have been splicing seeds and crossing genetics at every turn in an effort to increase cannabinoid levels, boost yield, mix terpenes, and more. And so for the same reason that most commercially sold pot is labeled by percentages of both sativa and indica, finding untouched strains is becoming increasingly difficult.
To make sure that the island’s rich cannabis history is not genetically crossed into oblivion, JMCC will help NFDST researchers contact and convince local growers to donate seeds to the project. Even with $2 million in funding from the Canadian benefactor, though, NFDST officials said that they would not be paying local cultivators for their seeds, but rather hope that they will participate for the good of the country, and for the benefit of medical marijuana users across the world.
“We shall be using a nutraceutical affirmation of the claims for health benefits and we shall be archiving these claims for posterity, so that we can assure a hundred years from now that Strain X shall be Strain X and not hybridized out or cross-fertilized in any way,” said Professor Errol Morrison, the Director General of the National Commission on Science and Technology.