Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, says the government has put in place interim protocols to facilitate the cultivation and processing of psilocybin mushrooms, also known as ‘magic mushrooms’ in Jamaica.
“What we have been doing with the team is really looking at how can those who want to participate in the industry at least know the protocols that are involved. We have been putting in interim protocols for people who want to interact [with the industry]. You would go through our Plant Quarantine Division just as you would if you are trying to import any plant into Jamaica,” he said.
“Again, you will have to do our pest risk analysis; we have to ensure that what you are bringing in is safe and does not pose a threat especially to our local plants,” Minister Green continued.
He was speaking on day one of the inaugural CanEx Psychedelics Summit at the Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St. James, on Thursday (July 15).
The two-day summit, which ended on Friday (July 16), brought together regional leaders, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour, Saboto Caesar, and experts in the psychedelics industry to share insights on the emerging sector.
Psychedelics are a class of hallucinogenic substances that produce changes in perception, mood and cognitive processes of which magic mushrooms are among those hallucinogens.
Researchers say extracts from mushrooms have a strong track record in treating psychiatric and psychosomatic illnesses.
As the industry awaits promulgation of regulations, Minister Green said that the Ministry continues to work with investors and our universities to explore ways to maximise its potential.
“We have no regulations now in relation to growing psylocybin mushrooms… In Jamaica, the reality is that we never promulgated any laws to make psilocybin illegal here and as such, it is legal now to grow psilocybin, and what we have been doing is trying to work with investors,” Minister Green noted.
Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, and a Consultant General and Addiction Psychiatrist at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Dr. Winston De La Haye, stated that there are many opportunities for the use of psilocybin locally.
He said its use has the potential to “change the lives of patients” with mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, reducing their disability and improving their quality of life.
Jamaica is home to many psychedelic retreats, and the UWI, Mona, has partnered with Canadian company Field Trip Ventures Inc to create a psilocybin research and cultivation facility on the island.
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