Jamaica allows medical marijuana, but now what?

Montego Bay’s popular tourist Hip Strip has two medical marijuana dispensaries (Photo: Jacqueline Charles JCHARLES@MIAMIHERALD.COM)
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(Miami Herald) The tour bus pulls up in front of the “Legal Cannabis Sold Here” billboard at the entrance of the old Casa Blanca hotel along this resort town’s popular tourist strip, when a young woman looking for a smoke jumps out.

“This is it?” she asks, strolling through the venue’s cozy courtyard.

An employee starts escorting her past a red carpet and into the non-smoking Lounge 2727, where bartenders are pouring drinks, tourists are snapping selfies and reggae is playing in the background, when she stops and abruptly says: “No. We’re going to Island Strains.”

The employee motions to his right. The young woman heads to a secure door, shows her ID and waits to be buzzed in. Inside, she walks over to a corner where a medical practitioner, who isn’t even a doctor, poses a few questions and then, for $10, hands her a medical card that allows her to buy locally grown marijuana.

This is the medical marijuana experience in Jamaica, where permission to legally smoke takes all but five minutes. No local address needed. No medical record requested— not even a physical exam is required.

“Right now, this — this is a phenomenon,” Christopher “Birdheye” Gordon, the owner of Island Strains Herb House, said sitting inside the smoke room where patrons can consume cannabis on the spot, unlike in the U.S. where some states are only now pitching the idea of smoking lounges.

“Smoking indoors,” he explained, as he lit up his third joint under the surveillance of mandated security cameras, “it’s a phenomenon, it’s groundbreaking…. Jamaica is advanced in that sense.”


Read more at: Miami Herald

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