CANADA-BASED Timeless Herbal Care Limited (THC) announced Saturday it has secured a US$100-million deal to develop medical marijuana products here in Jamaica for the international market.
Courtney Betty, the Jamaican- Canadian who heads THC, did not go into great detail, but said the deal would create job opportunities for many Jamaicans. He said the deal was buttressed by the decision of the Jamaican Government to decriminalise ganja for medicinal purposes.
Betty used the opportunity in a speech at the Association of Consultants and Physicians of Jamaica (ACPJ) Reception and Banquet, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, to urge physicians and private sector businesses to get on board with medical marijuana treatment, saying Jamaica was destined to become a hub for investment in medical marijuana.
“This is not about smoking marijuana, but it is about developing medical products that will be able to help patients,” said the president and CEO of Timeless Herbal Care, a nutraceutical pharmaceutical company that produces medical marijuana products.
“It really is about privatecorporations and businesses, and our expectation is that there will be many companies that will start coming to Jamaica looking to invest because of the tremendous intellectual property and resources that sit here at the University of the West Indies.” A high point of the ACPJ banquet was the honouring of its past president and consultant neurologist Dr Amza Ali and Dr Hafeezul Mohammed, outstanding cardiologist, internist and consultant physician.
Dr Ali was trained in neurology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, and is specially certified in neurology by the Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom and the Association of British Neurologists.
He also completed a clinical fellowship in epilepsy at the Neurological Institute, Columbia University in New York and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians of London.
“Being honoured by one’s peers is an amazing thing. It gives you a sense of validation that can’t come from anything else, because it means other people that you respect, respect what you are doing,” Dr Ali said in his response.
In 2009, the American Academy of Neurology selected him for the Donald M Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum for his extensive work in the field of epilepsy. In June 2011, he delivered the prestigious annual Swebelius Lecture at Yale University in recognition of his work in this field.
“Moving forward, this will be an inspiration for me: It will give me even more energy to move forward and to do even more things for the people I care so much for in this country” said Dr Ali.
Dr Mohammed, who has studied at McGill University, Canada, the University of the West Indies, and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School of London, said: “I am delighted to receive this honour from the Association of Consultant Physicians of Jamaica, and this inspires me to continue to provide service to the people of Jamaica and to improve our health care.”