Jamaican Cannabis Landraces: Amanda Feilding on Protecting the Rare, Indigenous Strains

Humanity’s history with cannabis reaches back to the dawn of civilization. Cannabis has long been valued for its long-lasting and strong fibre, its nutritious and oil-rich seeds, as well as its psychoactive and medicinal properties.

Over the last 4000 years, the plant’s valuable, and often unique contribution to the religious, cultural, medical, agricultural, commercial and industrial sectors of human societies ensured that cannabis has been widely cultivated and spread from central Asia to Europe, Africa and the Americas.

In November 2015, as part of the Rastafari Rootzfest, the first Cannabis Cup was held in Jamaica. HIGH TIMES received a total of 65 flower and hash entries from the local growers, separated into 2 categories: “Traditional farming” (outdoor-only methods) and “Modern growing” (indoor growing or outdoor with imported strains, fertilisation and automated irrigation).

To coincide with the Cannabis Cup, the Beckley Foundation hosted a conference with the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Industry in Negril which explored and layed out the development of the new regulation for the medical cannabis industry and the sacramental rights of the Rastafari as well as highlighting the need to protect and study landrace strains of cannabis.

Amanda Feilding explains the history and importance of the Jamaican landraces, and the value of ensuring their survival as Jamaica takes steps towards the creation of a regulated cannabis industry. Read her article on the Huffington Post here.