JAMAICA’S INDUSTRY and Commerce Minister Audley Shaw will be the keynote speaker for this year’s Caribbean Lecture Series scheduled for Wednesday, October 16 at Schomburg Centre for Research in Black Culture in New York. Organised under the theme ‘The search for Green Gold … Marijuana’ – this year’s forum will address the current issues and questions facing the marijuana industry and especially Jamaica’s role. Speaking to the rationale, Caribbean International Network (CIN) founder Stephen Hill, says: “This year’s topic is front and centre in the global marketplace. There are discussions ongoing in Canada and the U.S about the impact of deregulation and decriminalisation of cannabis. Thirteen states have already legalised it but the Federal government hasn’t, so there are a number of questions, it’s on very body’s mind, both in the Diaspora and in the general marketplace. In Jamaica, we have tried for many years to address this, now we have chosen decriminalisation. So the questions are:
‘have we chosen the right model?, is it an inclusive model?, are the small persons going to benefit? and are we creating a model that will propel economic growth in Jamaica?” “CIN has created the opportunity for Jamaicans to get their ideas to the wider world,” Hills says of the 14-year-old lecture series which explores issues of interest to the diaspora and local communities. Derrick Reckord, president/CEO, GraceKennedy Foods USA LLC and Dwayne McKenzie, president of EPICAN, Jamaica as sponsors, are also expected to make remarks at the event. CIN has further arranged for Minister Shaw to be hosted by Bloomberg at an editors’ forum while in New York.