Jamaica: A week exploring strains and meeting some nice growers
May 18, 2016 at 6:30 pm #11643
Last year I had the opportunity to travel to Jamaica to meet some government representatives and business men and women as Jamaica was in the process of decriminalizing cannabis, or ‘ganja’, of course.
After spending a few days in Kingston, we headed to the Blue Mountains. We went to see a local grower, who was ahead of most growers we saw when it came to sustainable practice. He was growing high in the Blue Mountains where the world prized Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is grown. He was living off the grid with full solar arrays that powered not just his seedlings and plants in veg cycle but also satellite radio and TV. He had a bank of car batteries that stored the day’s energy. Despite the very high humidity and moist climate, his strains were mildew resistant and thrived.
That wasn’t the standard operation. Many growers in Jamaica grow in simple, tried and true ways. For some, an old car tire laid flat on the ground and filled with dirt served as the container. They would drop a handful of seeds in the tire, unconcerned about spacing and let the strongest survive.
Ganja is everywhere in Jamaica, intertwined with daily living. Of course, this is especially true for the Rastafarians who view ganja use as a sacred act. This spiritual tradition was influenced heavily by the 35,000 indentured servants brought to Jamaica from India for about 30 years around the turn of the last century. Today, doctors, lawyers, grandmothers and so many others in Jamaica use ganja and almost all of them smoke it. Edibles are not popular in Jamaica. In fact, many Jamaicans are intimidated by them. On more than one occasion locals told of someone they knew who ate an edible and ‘went crazy’ or “took off running and never came back.’ However, “weed tea” is an accepted form of traditional herbal medicine. “My grandma used to give me weed tea when I was a kid to calm me down before school,” one grower told us. A government official told us he drinks weed tea “to help (him) sleep sometime.”
The ganja we smoked was full of seeds, expect it, but love it. Cleaning is part of the tradition there. Crumble in your palm, pull the seeds. Can you roll a cone, one-handed while barely looking? I bet you will meet someone who can. Expect to smoke a lot to get the same effect if you are used to top shelf bud. As a tourist, expect to be targeted as a potential ganja buyer if you are in a tourist area.
If you are a medical marijuana patient with valid paperwork you can get a permit to carry up to two ounces of ganja during your stay. For others, up to 2 ounces of marijuana is a petty offense that may result in a $5 ticket but neither arrest or a criminal record.
May 20, 2016 at 10:42 am #11661
Was it sketchy visiting his grow? Was there guns or any security?
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