Despite more and more countries pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana, the cannabis plant is still widely illegal worldwide.

Countries like Russia and China prohibit the cultivation, sale, and consumption of cannabis. And cannabis decriminalization has a long way to go in Europe before reaching the United States.

But the tide is turning, albeit slowly. Before, cannabis farming took place on the fringes, in outlying areas away from the watchful eye of authorities.

Now, spurred on by the legalization of cannabis in several states in the US and other countries, marijuana farming is taking on a new life. The stigma attached to cannabis farming is falling away as the market evolves to meet the needs of consumers, both medical and recreational.

Enter Jamaican weed. The country is famous for its “ganja,” as it is known in Jamaica, but it wasn't until recently that their cannabis farming saw innovation. So let's look at Jamaican weed's surprising roots—from California.

The Roots of Jamaican Weed

Cannabis was first brought to Jamaica by East Indian laborers in the middle 1800s.

The plant grew in popularity, especially among the lower working class. The Rastafari religious movement, which came to Jamaica in the 1920s, also fueled the fire. The group used cannabis as a way to meditate during meetings. But despite its common use, it was still largely illegal. 

Only recently, in relative terms, cannabis for medicinal purposes was made legal through amendments to the Dangerous Drug Act in 2015. Under this act, those battling cancer, terminal illness, or severe chronic illness can have access to …

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