A nation infamous for its Rastafarian history and close nature to the psychoactive plant, hearing Jamaica is running low on marijuana right now is very surprising. Unfortunately, such is the case for the Caribbean nation’s largely illegal cannabis market, which suffered devastating blows due to the effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Associated Press, hurricane season wreaked havoc on cannabis fields and the subsequent drought made the situation even worse. Experts even say the drought is the worse they’ve seen. “It’s a cultural embarrassment,” said Triston Thompson, who serves as the chief opportunity explorer for a consulting and brokerage firm for the country’s young legal cannabis industry.
Daneyel Bozra, who grows marijuana in the southwest part of Jamaica, told ABC News of the damage caused by the inclement weather. “It destroyed everything,” she noted.
The 6 pm COVID-19 curfew set in the country has also prevented farmers from being able to take care of the crops at night, which is quintessential to the production process. While the supply of the plant remains low, stress associated with the pandemic has increased the demand for ganja.
The country’s government has stepped out to note there are no shortages in the regulated legal sector, although legal weed prices can have costs ranging from 5 to 10 times more than on the street. Tourists have also taken note of the shortage of bud, writing reviews on travel websites detailing the difficulties of finding the drug.
There’s no word yet on how local farmers plan to remedy the shortage.