In 2015, Jamaica passed a law reducing possession of small amounts of cannabis to a petty offence and allowing the cultivation of up to five plants.
Rastafarians may also use cannabis for religious purposes.
In 2017, government agency, the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), issued the first two permits to Epican and Everyting Oily to grow medical cannabis.
The CLA has in the past denied local media reports that it also issues permits for recreational use.
“The Authority would like to reiterate the fact that all licences granted are for medicinal purposes only and not for recreational,” it said last year, adding that it monitors the activities of license-holders in the interests of ensuring a fully compliant industry.
“The Authority is committed to its duty in keeping a watchful eye and taking decisive action when deemed necessary,” said its chair, Hyacinth Lightbourne.
Government attitudes to cannabis in the Caribbean vary widely.
Cuba, for instance, takes a zero tolerance policy even for possession of small amounts.
David Jessop, consultant at trade and investment consultancy, the Caribbean Council, would like to see a pan-Caribbean policy for cannabis.
“It is time for a regional policy that accepts limited possession and a regional medical marijuana industry,’ he wrote in an opinion piece, after Cuban courts handed prison sentences of between 15 and 30 years to 11 individuals for drug trafficking between Jamaica and Cuba.