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News for Week of July 4, 2021
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Many countries look to Jamaica for ganja

More than more countries are looking to Jamaica for ganja, according to the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA).

It reported that in recent months it has been issuing export permits “to territories as far away as Australia and Germany, which are seeking local cannabis for research and medical purposes”.

 In total, the Authority issued 42 export authorisations to 10 entities trading with various regions of the globe – Africa, North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Oceania.

 According to the Authority, since the start of the year, it issued 19 export permits and there is an increase in export permit requests by licensees.


 “What this tells us is that we have been producing cannabis to the standards required of these other jurisdictions and therefore there is potential for commercial quantities to be exported in the future once markets are opened,” said the acting CEO of the Cannabis Licensing Authority, Faith Graham.

Carib Cement committed to corporate social responsibility.

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$70m loan scheme for transport operators in tourism

Operators in the tourism ground transportation sub-sector negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are set to get help.

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett disclosed that the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jamaica National Small Business Loans Ltd (JNSBL) to make J$70 million accessible to them.


“I am happy to announce that we have finalized plans for our latest relief initiative for tourism workers. The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has put in motion an injection of J$70 million to support tourism ground transportation operators who have suffered tremendously from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the massive downturn in tourism over the last year,” he said. 

“The loans, become accessible at any JN branch starting July 1, 2021, and will be offered at zero per cent interest rate; with an eight-month moratorium on the principal and a maximum repayment period of three years, with no processing fees,” Minister Bartlett explained.

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Police get masks, gloves from Chinese group

Jamaica’s law enforcement officers have received a special donation from the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Jamaica (ACEJ). The group gave items valued in excess of US$10,000 to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). These included 40,000 pieces of medical masks, 8,000 pairs of medical gloves, 16 gallons of sanitizers and 152 litres of rubbing alcohol.

The ACEJ is comprised of Chinese companies and enterprises engaged in the construction, production, sales, import\export trade, and other business activities, along with local Chinese companies and enterprises.

Yafen Chen, the association’s Operations Officer, stated, “We appreciate the great efforts JCF has made to Jamaican community. It was our pleasure to contribute in fighting against the pandemic.”

Accepting the donation on behalf of the Jamaica Constabulary Force was Senior Superintendent Cameron Powell. Representatives from the association, Mr. Dangran Bi (CHEC), Mr. Zhenwei Wu (CHEC), Mr. Jiazhe Zhao (HUAWEI), Mr. Yongwei Xin (B.Y.D.), Ms. Yafen Chen, attended the handover ceremony.

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Jamalco Scholarships
Jamalco Scholarships

Cherrise Martin, student at the University of Technology, accepts her scholarship confirmation letter from Managing Director of Jamalco Austin Mooney. Jamalco has awarded some J$13 million in scholarships, bursaries and assistance with back-to-school items to early childhood, primary, high school and tertiary level students in Clarendon and Manchester.

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Back-To-School
Back-To-School

From left: Danielle Coward, tTech Limited human resource coordinator; Samantha Jones, sales and marketing associate; and Gillian Murray, marketing manager at a back-to-school donation drive at the Yallahs High School in St Thomas.

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Pineapples
Pineapples

A representative from the Annotto Bay Fire Station shows off her freshly picked JP St Mary’s pineapple alongside JP St Mary’s Assistant Depot Manager Simone Saunderson during a handover of care packages with the vitamin C-rich fruit to the Fire Brigade. The donation by JP St Mary’s is part of an overall initiative to encourage essential workers to eat healthy foods to boost their immune systems.

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Jamalco Scholarships
Jamalco Scholarships

Cherrise Martin, student at the University of Technology, accepts her scholarship confirmation letter from Managing Director of Jamalco Austin Mooney. Jamalco has awarded some J$13 million in scholarships, bursaries and assistance with back-to-school items to early childhood, primary, high school and tertiary level students in Clarendon and Manchester.

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Jamaica wants more investments in casino sector

In a bid to increase economic activity and spur economic recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Government is seeking to attract investments in the country through amendments to the Casino Gaming legislation.

Minister of Finance Dr. Nigel Clarke said amendments are being made to the Casino Gaming Act, “with the goal of having, hopefully, billions of US dollars in investments being made in Jamaica over the next few years”, through integrated resort developments.

“We don’t simply want to recover what we have lost; we want to recover stronger; we want to recover better. As such, one of the recommendations in the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force, which I chaired last year, was to promulgate amendments to the Casino Gaming legislation that will deliver results in the form of investments and jobs,” he said.

Dr. Clarke noted that amendments to the legislation will allow for “yet another product that can be the anchor for another type of tourism business” that will diversify Jamaica’s tourism product, diversify arrival patterns and seasonal trends and make Jamaica’s tourism product more resilient.

Toll Authority gives 40 tablets to Portmore school

The Portsmouth Primary School in Portmore, St. Catherine, has received a donation of 50 tablets from the Toll Authority of Jamaica under the ‘One Laptop or Tablet per Child’ Initiative.

The devices, valued at $1.4 million, which come with protective cases and warranties, will benefit needy students who are not on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).

At the handover ceremony, Minister of Transport and Mining Robert Montague, noted the importance of investing in the education of the nation’s children. “Money is not spent on education; money is invested in education… . It is an investment that will pay off many times over in the future. We are investing (in our children) because it is in them that we have hope for a better and brighter tomorrow,” he said.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Fayval Williams, who participated in the ceremony, thanked the Toll Authority for the donation, which, she said, will better support online learning. “I want to express my deep appreciation for this tangible support of the ‘One Laptop or Tablet per Child’ Initiative. This will allow needy students who are not on the PATH programme to better participate in online learning and make use of the facilities for remote teaching and learning provided by the Ministry,” she noted.

Principal of the Portsmouth Primary, Lennox Davis, in expressing gratitude, said that the donation will “certainly help us to bridge the digital divide, one tablet, one laptop per child”. At same time, Chief Executive Officer, Toll Authority of Jamaica, Lerone Laing, said, “We are hoping to involve some other schools in Portmore because we are targeting that area, but also some select rural schools as well, because the toll network is not only urban, it is rural as well.”

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