Recent years have brought on the full degelizations of cannabis, or in Jamaica, ganja. You may currently smoke, vape or ingest your cannabis in peace, when following the guidelines listed here.
What is Ganja exactly?
When speaking of cannabis in Jamaica, the term often used term is "ganja", a word historically used by Rastafarians to describe the marijuana plant. This is also true to legal documents regulating the use of medical marijuana. This is the definition set by the The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015:
3. Section 2 of the principle Act is amended –
(a) by deleting the definition of “ganja” and substituting therefor the following --
“ganja” includes all parts of the plant cannabis sativa from which the resin has not been extracted ad includes any resin obtained from that plant, but does not include --
i Medicinal preparations made from that plant;
(b) by inserting in the appropriate alphabetical sequence the following definitions –
"Hemp" means the plant cannabis sativa, or any part of thereof, with a THC concentration of no more than 1.0% or such other concentration as may be prescribed by the Minister by order published in the Gazette;
“THC” means trans-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (6aR, 10aR)-6a, 7, 8, 10a-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-3-pentyl-6H-dibenzo [b,d] pyran- 1 o1). (THC);
(Image source: screenshot from the The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015, page 2)
Medical marijuana card
When planning on purchasing cannabis at one of the local dispensaries you will be asked for a doctor’s recommendation from overseas, and such will be honored; or you have to see the “doctor on side” to get a local recommendation. You will need to bring and ID, like your passport, for the registration. Dispensaries operate strictly under medical law, so recreational cannabis is not available here. It does not matter if you have Jamaican citizenship or any other - Mary Jane won’t discriminate, and visitors from around the world are always welcome. After the process of obtaining a legal medical marijuana card, you are free to pick your favorite sativa and indica strains, and get medicated. The cost of card application vary between 15 and 20 US$.
If you have a MMJ card issued in another country, make sure to bring it with you to Jamaica. Not as essential as your passport, but still, don't travel without all your important documents :)
Buying ganja on the beach
This would probably be the time to mention that weed transactions on the beach are fround upon lol. When a country has enough common sense to delegalize the use of cannabis, and allow medical disensaries, like Jamaica, it's best to take advantage of the system and purchase from an approved source.
Beach dealers are not known for their high quality of merchandise, so stick with the legally obtainable ganja offered at cannabis dispensaries around Jamaica. The guy in the photo above was very friendly, and happy to pose for a photo, but we are fairly certain a medical dispensary will offer you a larger selection...
Visit the first two established Jamaican cannabis dispensaries to learn more:
Kaya Herb House
Read in detail on Legal Cannabis in Jamaica - The Official Rules.