Ganja in Jamaica: A Canadian Legal Grower’s Perspective

CANNABIS CULTURE – It had been too long since my last visit to Jamaica – 16 months to be exact – and it was time to head south once again to check out the fine weather, sandy beaches, and warm smiles of the Jamaican people.

Being a federally licensed medical grower and user in Canada, I am curious to see different strains and how ganja is grown and processed in other parts of the world.

During my last visit, much of my time was spent buying poor- to middle-grade pot and trying to find someone who would take me to a good field – without getting taken myself in the process.

While it’s true that marijuana is everywhere in Jamaica (it was offered to me right outside immigration at the airport), finding good ganja or some good fields to tour is another story.

On this trip we managed to take a trip to ‘Nine Mile’, birthplace and resting place of Bob Marley, and did the tour of his mausoleum.

The author with a pound of high grade.The author with a pound of high grade.In the parking area we found lots of Rasta’s offering up cannabis and tours of ganja fields, but don’t be fooled. The ganja field tour is nothing more than a few plants in a vegetable garden. Of course, they charge a least $10US per person. A few plants in the garden is a long way off if you’re expecting to see a ganja field or large garden.

Ganja is grown year round in Jamaica and since the arrival of seeds from Dutch companies and the introduction of hybrid indicas, many growers now produce only very short plants, usually in seven or eight weeks. I did hear of some growers saying they harvested in six weeks, but I think they were pushing it.

The main reason why the Jamaicans switched from growing wonderful landrace sativas to hybrid indicas is pure economics. Indicas allow for two or three, sometimes even four harvests a year, while the sativas they used to grow really only produced once a year. Indica plants are also much easier to hide and allow for a good quick harvest of decent weight equaling more money in the grower’s pocket.

The fruits of our labor; some very fine bubble hash.The fruits of our labor; some very fine bubble hash.With the DEA spreading its evil prohibition agenda all over the world, people have to adapt.

Another downside of growing indicas in Jamaica is the humidity: around 75-80%.

Indica plants are from dry parts of the world and do poorly in high humidity. Airy, sparse sativa buds do well in such a climate because they can breath – the wind passes thru them so they dry out and don’t get bud rot as easily. Many growers I spoke with complained about bud mold problems.

The months from April-August are the most active for growers but touring a good ganja field in August can be dangerous as there are more soldiers and cops in the bush at this time. It can also be sketchy if you don’t really know the person giving you the tour.

Many growers head into the swamps during these months to tend gardens, some that are decades old. The wet mucky earth is shoveled up onto a pile: up one side and down the other creating a raised bed in the swamp, taking care of irrigation. At other times of the year that offer more rain, growers will work a clearing in the forest. Most fruit and vegetable farmers will have also have a few ganja plants growing in there gardens.

A Rasta in his veggie garden.A Rasta in his veggie garden.Another field I visited had some very nice plants, for November. I was sure I knew the background of a few that I smelled, and it turned out it was DJ Short’s blueberry.

This brings me to another problem facing growers in Jamaica: keeping the strains pure. This is impossible to do outdoor, I think. Many growers leave some males for future seed and then sell this ‘bag seed’ for next year’s crops, and since there are no pure strain gardens I suspect most ganja in Jamaica is a hybrid mix of many sorts. Many plants I looked at close-up had been paid a visit by ‘uncle Hermie’ (they were Hermaphrodite plants).

I did see some very sativa-looking plants under four-feet tall in bud and one seven-footer that could have been 70% sativa judging by looks alone.

DJ Shorts ‘Blueberry’ outdoors in Jamaica! …so I was told and it did smell A LOT like her.DJ Shorts ‘Blueberry’ outdoors in Jamaica! …so I was told and it did smell A LOT like her.Many people selling ganja will tell you it’s pineapple skunk or mango skunk due to being grown in or next too an orchard, you’ll have to make up your own mind here, with all the unintentional cross breeding what strain your smoking is anybody’s guess.

For this trip, we brought a set of Bubble Bags and made some really fine bubble hash. We bought a pound of weed for $200US and spun the whole lot up. $200 is the most you should pay for a pound of ganja in Jamaica, $150 would have been a better price but our guy got caught in the rain while bringing it over and he was prompt – so a good tip was in order.

We got back a little over 50 grams of product for our efforts. A $25 bubbler pipe can be picked up in the Negril town centre mall and now you’re smoking the good stuff! Even the Rastas who tried this stuff were blown away – it made what they call finger hash seem like street-level hash.

Two weeks is never long enough in Jamaica and we are already planning our next visit back. Keep your eyes on Cannabis Culture for info on how to join us next year for a Jamaican Ganja Holiday Experience.

A field in the jungle.A field in the jungle. A very Sativa-looking plant.A very Sativa-looking plant. Pot Tart enjoying the garden smells.Pot Tart enjoying the garden smells.
Little Bay, not to far outside Negril. We had the beach to ourselves.Little Bay, not to far outside Negril. We had the beach to ourselves. On Bob Marley's rock at ‘Nine Mile’ next to Bob’s house.On Bob Marley’s rock at ‘Nine Mile’ next to Bob’s house. Two days before we left we still had this to finish,…ya mon; no problem.Two days before we left we still had this to finish,…ya mon; no problem.



  1. persecutedinalberni on

    Looks like a sweet trip you had,I bet that hash was real tasty.

  2. maurício on

    diamba é coisa excelente

  3. Anonymous on

    I believe you should harvest in 2-to- 3 weeks…L.o.l!!!

  4. Anonymous on

    27-November-2009 rejuvenated a prize mother back for clone stock. I then allowed her to grow out to a decent size to be placed in a flowering room. It is now 25-December-2009 and she in doing better than i expected with a lot of red hairs(toward the top)the room is kept at a comfortable temperature. If I patiently wait long enough she will in a few weeks or a month. Plan to cross with the famed BigBlue which as you know has the famed NL#5 in it’s mix…

  5. Anonymous on

    If you do, keep it quiet, Ipal would double the price! LOL

  6. Anonymous on

    Nice to see a hometown boy escape the Valley for a few. Thanks for the write up and travel tips.

  7. renney b. on

    seeing all these beautiful pictures is making me homesick; maybe it is time for me to go home… the warm sunshine, the red soil and the rain and the breeze in the trees will produce the best cali in the world… i trust the spirit of one love and the vibe of reggae will continue to spread the natural mystic of freedom fyah all over the world..thanks for the memories opus and pot tart, i am glad you fell in love with jamaica land we love… if the prohibitionist will leave us alone can you imagine what a paradise we will have… peace in the mids of the storm; as the war on weed rages on around the world another story exposes the lies of the powers that be towards cannabis… i trust the people of canada and the world will catch the vision of what it can be like if big brother and uncle sam stop the crime and respect our human rights and freedoms…

  8. Froggo on

    My wife and I went to Jamaica for our honeymoon 12 years ago and I scored an ozer of fine Jamaican smoke from a porter in the men’s room in the main terminal at the airport, less than 15 minutes after I got into the country. Best $60 I spent on the trip:) I will never travel unprepared again as that nice weed did not taste right smoked as a fattie in the filter from the coffee maker in our hotel room. But enjoying it for the next week on the beach and in the hotel, in a decent piece of glass, more than made up for it. I don’t know what strain it was, and after a few bowls and a couple of pina coladas and some sunshine on the beach, it really didn’t matter.

  9. johnny 1 on

    havnt been back there in 20 yrs
    toms river falls had the best crops , in the mountains
    fresh stream water – beautifull you could swim upstream and remain in place, endless pool!

    I remember “lambs bread” basically a thai strain i think

    compressed for easy transport
    that was the best ,i brought some northern lights from the US these people were amazed , they loved it

    really nice people too , i loved the breakfast AIKI ? it was kind of like scrambled eggs only it was a fruit.
    aiki and salt fish
    great seafood and fresh fruit drinks , mango ,papaya synkabiba (aloe) they drank this, good healing powers!

    definateley 1 of the most beautifull places in the east!

    well im on the other coast now , cali
    but i do miss those trips to jamaica/peurto rico
    great article!
    plant a million seeds!

    you could fill a bottle up for .25 cents

  10. Heig on

    Glad you had a decent time in Jamaica,I cannot wait to start being a caregiver so I can learn the proper way to grow the herb.

  11. jomila on

    I love Jamaica. I went there earlier this year and scored some ganja that didn’t look to great, but the smoke was awesome! I was able to bring some seeds backs and grow them out and it is some killer for sure, very crystally. Currently smokin on it now, well worth the 40 bucks for a half O, even though it feels like I got ripped now seeing you got a pound for 200 lol, but oh well I was only there for one day on a cruise.

  12. Catharine on

    Thanks for sharing Opus! Sounds like you had a great trip — Hope you get to go back soon!

  13. Anonymous on

    Wow, what a nice trip you must have had Opus, truly facinating pictures of Jamaica.