Jamaica is experiencing a marijuana shortage due to the effects of climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.
The Caribbean nation’s illegal market is being affected the most. According to TMZ, hurricane season wrecked weed fields and the ensuing drought made matters worse.
“It destroyed everything,” Daneyel Bozra, who grows marijuana in the southwest part of Jamaica, told ABC News.
The 6 pm curfew set in Jamaica has also prevented farmers from taking care of the crops at night, which is important to the production process.
While supply is low, consumption and demand have remained high because of the stress of the pandemic.
The Jamaican government claims there’s no shortage in the country’s regulated marijuana sector. Legal weed prices remain high, though, with costs ranging from 5 to 10 times more than on the street.
Tourists have also taken note of the shortage, according to posts on travel websites about difficulties finding the drug.
Paul Burke, CEO of Jamaica’s Ganja Growers and Producers Association, said in a phone interview with ABC that people are no longer afraid of being locked up now that the government allows possession of small amounts. He said the stigmatization against weed has diminished and more people are appreciating its claimed therapeutic and medicinal value during the pandemic.
Burke also said that some traditional small farmers have stopped growing in frustration because they can’t afford to meet requirements for the legal market while police continue to destroy what he described as “good ganja fields.”