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Marijuana Tourism to Be Discussed at Caribbean Conference

MJPics2The deputy chief executive officer of Jamaica’s first medical marijuana company, Richard Kildare, will lead a debate on the notion or reality of marijuana tourism during the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) later this month.

The Sept. 17-19 conference will be held in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and apart from Kildare, presentations will also come from Dr. James Hospedales, the executive director of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and Josef Woodman, the chief executive officer and founder of Patients Beyond Borders.

Rory Johnston, a Ph.D. student at the faculty of health sciences at Simon Fraser University in Canada, will present on the ethical and legal implications, as well as the risks, associated with medical tourism.

“This presentation will provide an overview of the key challenges that medical tourism poses to the operation of equitable health systems – those that are accessible to local populations and responsive to their needs.

“Examples will be drawn from both established medical tourism destinations and projects being pursued in the Caribbean to explore how negative health equity impacts can emerge and ways in which they might be anticipated and minimized,” Johnston said.

The CTO said that the debate surrounding marijuana tourism has taken a sharper focus in recent months following its legalization for recreational use by two U.S. states.

Uruguay has also become the first country in the world to make it legal to grow, sell and consume cannabis.

Since it became legal to smoke marijuana in Colorado at the beginning of the year, there have been several reports of a boom in arrivals from both within and outside the United States.

The Colorado office of state planning and budgeting reported US$19 million in tax revenue from recreational marijuana during the first half of the year, although it didn’t say how much of that was from tourism versus local buyers.



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