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OGH seeks more lands for growing medical hemp on former Long Pond Sugar Estate

CDB oils for local and export market

Organic Growth Holdings (OGH) Jamaica, which last week broke ground for its medical hemp project in Trelawny, is seeking to lease more lands on the former Long Pond Sugar Estate.

Workers plant hemp at Organic Growth Holdings Incorporated’s craft medicinal hemp farm at Long Pond Estate in Trelawny. (Photo: Jamaica Information Service)

Having leased 635 acres of farmland on the Long Pond Sugar Cane Estate, located just outside Clarke’s Town, Trelawny, OGH Jamaica has put in a bid for more lands for the cultivation of medical hemp. Co-founder and OGH President, Robert Weinstein told Caribbean Business Report that the company is seeking to lease additional lands, as he and his team of investors have big plans for Jamaica and the growing of medical hemp for the production of cannabidiol, or “CBD”​oils.

CBD oil is a derivative of hemp and is being increasingly used for its medicinal benefits and is effective at treating a range of ailments. Based on its medicinal value CDB oils can potentially address conditions from sleep disorders to chronic pain to dealing with discomfort from cancer treatment.

Sizable portion of 635 acres unsuitable for cultivation

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw (right); and President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards (centre), examine seedlings during a tour of Organic Growth Holdings Incorporated’s (OGH’s) craft medicinal hemp farm nursery, at the Long Pond Estate in Trelawny, on December 11. At left is Co–Founder and President of OGH Grow Jamaica, Robert Weinstein. (Photo: Jamaica Information Service)

Weinstein did not indicate how much land is being sought on the former sugar estate, which comprise approximately 14,000 acres of land. Based on our investigation, a sizable portion of the 635 acres of land already leased from the government through the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) Holdings is unsuitable for cultivation given the surrounding rocks.

Hence, the need to acquire more arable lands to grow medical hemp. SCJ Holdings, which is responsible for the assets of all government controlled sugar companies including lands has hinted that this request is being given favourable consideration.

Speaking with The Caribbean Business Report, SCJ Holdings Managing Director, Joseph Shoucair admitted that he is only now being aware of the desire of OGH Jamaica for additional lands, pointing that no formal request has been made by the company for the additional lands.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw (second right), does the ceremonial breaking of ground to signal the official opening of Organic Growth Holdings Incorporated’s craft medicinal hemp farm at Long Pond Estate, Trelawny, on Wednesday (December 11). Also joining the Minister are (from left) Managing Director of OGH Grow Jamaica, Mitchel Yeckes; Co-Founder and President of OGH Grow Jamaica, Robert Weinstein; and Vice President of OGH Grow Jamaica, Shawn Rogers. (Photo: JIS)

Export market for CDB oils to be targeted

Weinstein disclosed that OGH Jamaica will be producing CDB oils for Jamaica in the first instance before branching out regionally and internationally noting that the CDB oils market in the United States is expected to be worth as much as US$20 billion by 2025. The American businessman declared that OGH Jamaica is seeking to supply the Jamaican market with CDB oils, so that the country becomes self-sufficient in CDB oils and local produce seen as import substitution.

Weinstein said the company will be targeting hotels, spas, gift shops, pharmacies for its CDB oils produce. In terms of international connections, he stated that talks are underway with international distributors adding that things are looking good.

 Principals mainly foreigners

Workers plant hemp at Organic Growth Holdings Incorporated’s craft medicinal hemp farm at Long Pond Estate in Trelawny. (Photo: JIS)

OGH Jamaica principals are mainly foreigners, namely Co-founder and OGH President, Robert Weinstein; Mitchel Yeckes, OGH, Managing Director, and Charles Hardesty, a director of the company. Interestingly they also share the same title in the holding company OGH Inc.

In addition to these three principals, it is understood that a number of overseas investors some connected to the directors have also invested sums of money on the project.