By Jasminee Sahoye;
A former prominent Toronto lawyer, who heads a company that is scientifically developing medical marijuana products, supports the new Liberal government’s plan to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes as it relates to decriminalization.
Courtney Betty, president and CEO of Timeless Herbal Care Ltd (THC), a nutraceutical and pharmaceutical company, told The Camera that while the Harper government had boasted that it created a huge medical marijuana industry, “at the same time you have young Black men being arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
“It’s just insane that in this day and age we are going to criminalize someone for holding a plant and on the other hand, we are going to allow companies to become billionaires by selling the same plant.”
Betty said medical marijuana is “an amazing business opportunity,” especially for the Black community, as many around the world have paid the price for using it.
“All of a sudden you have this great business opportunity. Unfortunately not too many people from our community are represented at the table from a commercial standpoint.”
The retired lawyer added that the community should put aside the cultural sensitivity, “where we automatically associate marijuana with negativity or smoking, which to some extent are blinding our ability to deal with the realities of what we can be.”
He said that in Canada, it’s a $1.5B industry and it will certainly grow. “It would be great for members of our community to recognize that and waking up to it and begin to position themselves, otherwise, there would be an industry and we would be consumers and users of the products and somebody else will get the financial benefits.”
THC is the first private company to be granted a ganja research licence by the Jamaican government.
Betty said his company does not advocate smoking marijuana but is strictly involved in producing medical marijuana products, two of which will be launched Nov. 13 to relieve pain and approved by Jamaica’s health ministry.
Jamaica is promoting medical tourism and had 2.8 million tourist visits in 2014 representing an increase of 8% year over year. Over one million Americans are projected to journey to Jamaica in 2015, with over 28,000 eligible to participate in the newly legal Jamaican medical cannabis program.