Jamaica Scientist Launches Medical Marijuana Firm

"Medicanja"will not violate any laws or treaties.

Posted: 12/04/2013 05:22 PM EST

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — A prominent Jamaican scientist and entrepreneur is launching a company that aims to capitalize on the growing international market for medical marijuana.

Henry Lowe is a researcher who specializes in medicinal chemistry and the chairman of an institute that develops therapeutic and cosmetic products from various plants.

Lowe is calling his new venture "Medicanja." He says it will focus on medicinal compounds in marijuana, known locally as "ganja," and will not violate any laws or treaties.

Marijuana has been pervasive but prohibited on the Caribbean island since 1913. But increasingly vocal advocates say Jamaica could give its chronically struggling economy a big boost by embracing cannabis-related investing and loosening up drug laws.

Lowe asserted Wednesday that Jamaica has potential to become a powerhouse in medical marijuana and health tourism.

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(Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)