Former journalist and communications professional LeVaughn Flynn has been appointed chairman of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), taking the reigns from Hyacinth ‘Cindy’ Lightbourne who is demitting office after five years at the helm.
Flynn, speaking during a virtual meeting at which he was introduced yesterday, said he planned to develop a framework for strengthened communication with stakeholders in the industry.
The new CLA chairman also commended the work of the previous board and CEO who he said did a fine job of introducing the regulatory framework of the authority.
Lightbourne, who is a noted attorney-at-law, is credited with having led the CLA, since being appointed chairman in 2016, to its full operationalisation in the 2020-2021 financial year.
She was instrumental in leading the strategic direction of the organisation which has been encapsulated in a four-year strategic business plan for
the period 2020-21 to 2023-24.
This includes overview of the establishment of policies and procedures to
facilitate the issuance of licences, the issuance of the first licence to handle ganja, the issuance of the first export authorisation to export legally grown Jamaican ganja and initiation of a craft hemp industry for the production of
cannabidiol (CDB) for medicinal purposes.
To date, she has overseen the growth of industry evidenced by the issuance of 74 licences to cultivate, process, transport, retail and conduct research and development activities, which has resulted in the creation of hundreds
for Jamaicans. She has also facilitated the issuance of 20 export authorisations to export Jamaican ganja to countries across the world for medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes.
Also demitting office is CLA CEO Lincoln Allen, who last day will be February 28, three years after assuming the role on March 1, 2018.
Under his leadership, the authority realised improved organisational efficiencies, increased stakeholders’ confidence and seen the development of several policies, procedures and protocols which have helped to increase accountability and transparency to support the organisation’s thrust towards achieving ISO 9001:2015 certification.
These, among other achievements, have placed the organisation on a path to realising one of its ambitions to become a model agency, and eventually, a leader in the global medicinal cannabis space.