Virtudes Company celebrated the groundbreaking of its first licensed hemp farm in Westmoreland, Jamaica on Thursday, November 21.
Virtudes Hemp Farm will cultivate hemp with plans to supply its by-products including hemp flower and CBD oils to both local and international health and wellness product manufacturers.
In his remarks, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, said “The opening of Virtudes Hemp Farm will add to the cadre of local cannabis and medicinal hemp companies supplying Jamaicans and overseas customers with the quality products that Jamaica and Jamaican producers are renowned for. I welcome the addition of this establishment, even as Jamaica continues to develop and bolster this burgeoning market. Virtudes’ investment will further help us to establish Jamaica as the world leader of the medicinal hemp and cannabis industry.”
“Virtudes is committed to the Jamaican community and helping people improve their quality of life…we look forward to providing jobs to Jamaicans doing something they are passionate about to provide a consistent and long-term platform for employment island-wide.”-Virtudes founder, Jamiel Jameison
Though cannabis has traditionally been taboo, recent scientific research has exposed the many health and medicinal benefits of hemp. With over US$1 million invested, Virtudes expects to have its first crop of hemp reaped from their 113 acreage farm by March, 2020.
Plans include not only the cultivation of hemp to be distributed locally but also export to worldwide markets that are already interested in the product. “The prospect of Jamaican hemp has already sparked interest from labs as far as the United Kingdom and Switzerland,” said Farrah Zargaran, Virtudes co-founder and chief operating officer.
Zargaran added that “Virtudes is inspired and motivated to bring this awareness to the world with the platform we have here in Jamaica. We take compliance very seriously and strive to show the world that in Jamaica we can produce high quality cannabis hemp at the same if not higher standards than our competitors abroad. Jamaica is full of exceptional farmers, engineers and entrepreneurs therefore Virtudes will be a platform to showcase the many talents of Jamaica”.
The Virtudes team is confident in the navigation of the challenges associated with the cannabis industry. With recent laws passed in the United States that favour hemp as a legal agricultural product, as well as current bills regarding banking for cannabis companies, it can be regarded as an opportune time for Jamaica to see a venture such as Virtudes Farms.
Virtudes founder, Jamiel Jameison, in his address, said “Virtudes is committed to the Jamaican community and helping people improve their quality of life. With over one million dollars US invested in the Virtudes Hemp Farm in Westmoreland, we look forward to providing jobs to Jamaicans doing something they are passionate about to provide a consistent and long-term platform for employment island-wide.”