Patel is dead wrong on backyard cannabis
by Dr Jerrol Thompson
Many people may not know the Marijuana plant come in two sexes. (A) Female plant and (B) Male Plant. Female plants produce flower-buds, which contains natural, active, chemicals (Cannabinoind, Terpenes & Flavinoids) and contrary to old beliefs the leaves contain very little active chemicals.
Male plants do not produce flower-buds, instead they develop tiny sacks of pollen, which when mature burst into the air, sprinkling pollen over any female flower near and far. One male plant can fertilize a whole field of female plants, so identifying and destroying all male plants leaving only females is crucial.
Modern technology now produces feminized seeds. Even greater innovations, such as our experienced Tissue Culture Lab in Orange Hill, have perfected the production of thousands of identical female seedlings from one desirable plant. Seedlings can be replant on farms without the use of seeds or presence of any male, significantly reducing cost, but improving quality and yields.
In Owia, an experienced farmer tried to tell Patel that his proposal of four (4) BACKYARD PLANTS, was a BIG-DUM-IDEA. His old-failed backyard idea is illegal internationally, as only four countries have legalized marijuana recreationally as NDP desires. This, and a solitary freedom zone, will be disastrous for SVG, and here are six reasons why the Rasta Farmer talking to Patel was absolutely right.
1. Patel mocked the farmer, who said, “Children will be exposed to Cannabis and inclined to wrap leaves into a spliff”. Patel dismissed this saying – “do you ever see anyone wrap green weed”. (Patel, they will pick the weed, dry it for several days and then wrap it). Patel fails to conceptualize that the issue is not when a 9-year-old child picks the flower buds or if they dried it for a few days, it is their access, exposure and use at an early age, long before their brains are fully developed. We explained this to Patel during the select committee, that very high-grade weed can trigger mental illness (Acute Psychosis) in a few children with a family history of mental problems. The Act, prohibits cannabis cultivation near schools or churches.
2. Theft (Praedial Larceny). Security of backyard weed is a serious and vexing issue. Police may be inundated with reports of stolen weed and demands for searching suspected neighbours.
3. Cannabis has hundreds of different species with different active chemicals. Some have a high THC/low CBD, while others have high CBD/Low TCH. Certain medical condition require a higher THC, while others require High-CBD.
Many illnesses need THC and CBD in equal 1: 1 proportion. If you have Depression and receive CBD, it may not work.
If you have anxiety which require a CBD strain, but receive a high-grade THC instead, it can trip you off. Getting the correct prescription, strain and potency, like other medications, is essential and in backyard planting you just won’t know.
4. If you plant Cannabis in everyone’s backyard, then who will buy it? In Patel’s bad vision of a local sales market, how will farmers in the hills sell their Cannabis if everyone already have it, thus crippling the industry.
5. Cannabis produced outside of INCB International guidelines cannot be marketed. For marketing, farmers must have licences, banking and authorization for International market sales. While quality and potency labels are mandatory, the standard of production is critical (just like banana).
6. One of the most important reasons this is a foolish idea is Croas-Polinization. Dr. Friday obviously has no idea he is being misinformed, taken for a ride and sold an old bag of goods. Patel is still stuck in the past ideas of the 1980s. Friday should seek professional advice on Patel’s foolishness as Cross-Pollenization will totally destroy the SVG cannabis industry and quality. There is a new trend of using Feminized-seeds, Clones and Tissue Culture seedlings to produce only female plants in an Export-oriented Industry, using science and innovation combined with Traditional Knowledge at its core.
A Modern Export-oriented Medicinal Cannabis Industry requires very high consistent quality, well-regulated and tested Cannabis free of all pesticide, germs and heavy metals. There must be the ability to trace the product from any farm to consumer using Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP), and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to manufacture the oils and tablets. With a core industry of Female Plants, but male plants still in backyards producing and spewing billions of pollen particles into the air, is a prescription for disaster. If one male plant can pollinate a whole field, then unsuspecting male plants in every back yard will devastate the industry and damage SVG stellar reputation. A female plant pollinated will not produce the wonderful chemicals needed for medicine, instead they will just produce seeds and low-quality plants. The NDP Cannabis proposal is an unchecked Patel Strategy.
Dr Jerrol Thompson is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Medicinal Cannabis Authority (MCA)