View of the Ochio Rios bay photographed from a nearby hillside.

Darryl Braaten

Kaya Herbhouse in St. Ann, Jamaica has opened its doors and is the first legal medical cannabis dispensary in the nation to make products available to patients, the Jamaica Gleaner reports. Their first patient was Gloria Palomino, who suffers from lupus. Palomino said she didn’t “want to be taking medication forever” and sought something more natural to ease her joint and arthritis pain.

The country’s medical cannabis regime requires a physician to recommend medical cannabis and Kaya has one on site for patient convenience and discretion.

The first sale comes nearly five months after the Cannabis Licensing Authority granted approvals for the nation’s first cultivation and processing licenses. Last October, regulators indicated that three other industry applications had been approved but still had to complete their requirements, while 57 others had received conditional approval, and some 200 other applications were being processed.

The CLA website does not indicate whether any subsequent applications have been approved, but there are no companies listed in the “Find a Licensee” section.

Jamaica legalized medical cannabis, hemp production, and broader decriminalization in 2015. The law also legalized the use of cannabis for religious or spiritual purposes.

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