JMCC Operations Update
Our cultivation and processing build-out continues in Jamaica despite a bit of construction slow-down during the government’s coronavirus-induced declaration of a state of emergency in mid-March. With restrictions now being eased, and keeping social distancing in mind, operations are now fully ramping up again, and the company expects no delay in meeting its delivery commitments to customers this fall.
“We were very happy to be able to keep all of our employees on payroll and working from home during the lock-down,” said Diane Scott, JMCC Group Chair & CEO. “In fact, we were able to use that time to push ahead on planning, gap-analysis, work on SOPs and other tasks related to both our EU-GMP certification and our `certified organic’ program. For those that did need to be onsite, like our security team, we were also pleased to be able to provide some bonus rewards as a thank you.”
“We hope that the easing of pandemic-related travel restrictions will allow our GMP inspectors to travel from Germany by the summer,” she added. “And we’ll be at least compliant with Jamaican and Canadian organics certification requirements by September with our first certifications completed shortly thereafter.”
Together with the company’s signing on to support Project Twenty21, Europe’s largest medical cannabis study, and the launch of our new Scientific Division, it’s been a challenging but rewarding period for JMCC, despite deep concern about the pandemic’s impact on people’s lives, families and economies worldwide.
The Operations Team are extremely busy working towards our goal of standing up 90 9,000-square foot greenhouses on our main grow site, which is also the location of our first processing facility. (JMCC’s custom-designed, mesh-sided greenhouses are produced in Canada and shipped to the island for installation.)
We are also thrilled to report that we have had great response to our efforts to add farms to our Collective and are at various stages of due diligence with several farmers, which will add more to our cultivation capacity.
Great Recruiting Success
Chief Operations Officer Chris Simpson is particularly delighted with the quality of professionals the company has attracted in its most recent round of management and specialist hires in Jamaica.
“We’re onboarding eight new key hires this month who will really pump up our management bench-strength and all are top people in their fields,” he said, adding that the first job of most will be to help add to and further develop areas like engineering, construction and project management, agronomy/cultivation, quality management, lab management, processing and extraction.
“I believe our ambition to become the “employer of choice” in Jamaica’s medical cannabis industry will continue to help attract high-quality people at every level,” Chris added.
(JMCC also recently announced the appointment of Carole M Lindsay as its Chief Scientific Advisor.)
The company’s hiring ramp-up this spring and summer will help Jamaica’s economic recovery from the coronavirus shut-down, Jamaican Director, Ashley-Ann Foster noted. “Tourism accounts for more than a third of the country’s GDP and, of course, that’s been hit very hard over the past quarter and recovery will likely be slow. So, we think it’s important that its medical cannabis sector continues to invest and create jobs to help offset that.”
Adding to the already demanding load of the JMCC Operations Team is the construction and equipping of the medical product R&D, manufacturing and packaging requirements of the company’s just-announced Scientific Divisions, for which planning was largely completed last month.
The same team has been working closely with the company’s GMP consultants over the past several months and is well positioned to welcome auditors from Germany later this summer.