Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The Jamaican government announced this week that it approved its first legal shipment of medical marijuana oil to Canada, marking an important step towards the island nation becoming an exporter of the increasingly legalized drug.
The Ministry of Health in Jamaica approved the shipment, which was requested by Health Canada, the Canadian government's agency that oversees the nation's healthcare programs, and fulfilled by Jamaican-based Licensed Producer Timeless Herbal Care.
Audley Shaw, the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries in Jamaica, praised the sale and hopes for more.
"Jamaica is uniquely positioned to be a global player and we are committed to providing the leadership and resources required for opening the international markets including Canada and Europe for our licensed and regulated Jamaican companies," Shaw said in a statement.
Jamaica has long been known for its high-quality marijuana, but the government there has had it criminalized until 2015. Since then, as other nations loosen their marijuana laws, the Jamaican government has been making strides towards creating a marijuana export market.
"The finest cannabis is to be found in Jamaica," Shaw told Global Trade in July.
However, marijuana is not yet completely legal in Jamaica and full legalization might not happen until the United States legalizes marijuana at the federal level.
"Our financial system goes through the U.S. -- we get aid, money and remittances," which could be jeopardized if Jamaica fully legalizes, Cindy Lightbourne, chairman of Jamaica's Cannabis Licensing Authority, told Rolling Stone.