Category Archives: News

We Won! PANACHE Magazine Wins at CTO Travel Media Awards In New York

Kinisha Correia wins the coveted Best Feature by Caribbean Journalist for a Caribbean Media award for the beautifully penned feature on Story & Myth

Kinisha and Tricia

Congratulations to Kinisha Correia (l) who penned the award-winning #BestFeature on Story & Myth for PANACHE Magazine. Sharing in the moment is Tricia Williamson, CEO & Editorial Director, PANACHE.


The award for Best Feature by a Caribbean Journalist in Caribbean Media was presented at the prestigious CTO Travel Media Awards in New York on June 7 during #CaribbeanWeekNewYork |


If we’re not careful, Damian Marley thinks corporations will ruin cannabis culture

Damian Marley Talks Preserving The Spirit Of Cannabis As It Becomes An Industry
From the moment he walks into a small banquet room in the back of the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, Damian Marley projects a different swag than his brothers Julian and Stephen Marley. With a black-and-red “Zilla” snapback on his head covering his knee-length dreadlocks, a fresh pair of navy Timberland boots and a gleaming gold Rolex, the youngest son of reggae king Bob Marley is just decidedly more hip-hop.

It’s his signature style. After all, Damian was sought out by Jay-Z for a collaboration that landed on the 4:44 album and long before the Afrocentric wave of Black Panther, he and Nas joined together to release an album as Distant Relatives in 2010.

In other words, Damian Marley has chartered new musical territory for his family name, creating an inimitable sound that is equal parts reggae, dancehall and hip-hop. On the cannabis front, Damian has been pretty busy too. He is pushing the culture forward and creating new businesses. But it’s not just about making money for the self-described “young entrepreneur.” As Marley’s youngest son, Damian sees himself as a part of the original cannabis culture, the culture which respects the cannabis plant and the people who grow it. And he’s made it a part of his mission to not only help the cannabis industry grow but to ensure that it does in the right way.

With herb becoming legal, it’s important for us, the original culture of herb smokers and people who sell and grow herb, to be a part of it,” Marley said during an interview with Herb at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, where his father often stayed.

DSC6829 If were not careful, Damian Marley thinks corporations will ruin cannabis culture
Photo by JESSICA CHOU/ Herb

Damian is nothing if not true to his words. In 2016, with longtime manager Dan Dalton and his family members, he bought a California prison and converted it into a pot farm. The transaction provided an instant financial boost to the city of Coalinga, and with around 100 new jobs, looks to be a consistent revenue stream for years to come.

The rest of his family is a part of the movement too. In mid-March, about a week after Herb spoke with Damian, Kaya Farms, co-owned by Damian’s brother Rohan Marley, became “the first legal medical cannabis dispensary in the English-speaking Caribbean.” It already appears the dispensary—located in Ocho Rios, Jamaica along with sister companies Kaya Herbhouse, Kaya Spa, Kaya Cafe and Kaya Tours—will be better received than Marley Natural, another cannabis brand developed by the Marley family.

Marley Natural came to market after a 30-year licensing pact between the Bob Marley estate and Privateer Holdings, the first company to secure many millions of dollars from institutional investors, prompting concerns among longtime cannabis entrepreneurs about the looming threat of corporate competition. Privateer Holdings was also roundly criticized for exploiting Rastafarian culture and lampooned for using Marley Natural to turn anti-capitalist Bob Marley into ‘Marijuana Marlboro Man.’ But Damian insists he wants to champion the people the way his father did.

“I’d really love to see that all of the people who have benefited from the plant and have been able to feed their families because of the plant can continue to do so when it’s legal,” Marley said. “It’s important that they’re not muscled out by corporations.”

DSC6797 If were not careful, Damian Marley thinks corporations will ruin cannabis culture
Photo by JESSICA CHOU/ Herb

Damian is clear about this in his music and his business ventures, which are inextricably tied. In his most recent music video for “Living It Up” from album Stony Hill, Damian celebrates Jamaican culture with his son. Stony Hill, the Jamaican neighborhood where Damian was raised, also shares a name with the singer’s Denver-based dispensary which opened around the same time as the album release. “Medication” was one of the album’s lead singles and further, Stony Hill Corp. has invested in cannabis businesses, including purchasing High Times magazine last year.

Damian says his goal is to inspire those in the cannabis community who may see themselves at a disadvantage as the legalization movement picks up and an influx of well-heeled investors descends on the industry. “It’s easy for capitalists to really take advantage of the fact that it’s now legal,” Marley says.

When asked about what he feels are the next steps in the legalization movement, Damian is clear: criminal justice reform.

“Look, first and foremost, before I can say anything, the greatest aspect should be that people aren’t incarcerated for herb,” Marley said. “It should be free to the level where anyone should be able to grow herb in their home, like they grow tomatoes or rosemary or whatever they want to.”

Damian, along with his brothers Stephen, Julian, Ky-Mani and Ziggy, will be bringing this message to San Bernardino, California this month, where they’ll be performing for the first time together in more than a decade at the Kaya Festival in honor of the 40thanniversary of their father’s Kaya Album.

The fest is being billed as “a socially conscious experience that utilizes the power of music and togetherness” to honor Bob Marley and “his unified way of living.” The word Kaya, like the festival itself, means many things: beauty, home, and, not coincidentally, cannabis.


658… Jamaica’s New Area Code

The current area code, ‘876’, is almost exhausted and requires an additional code, or NPA (numbering plan area), which will come into effect at midnight on May 31, 2018.


The change effectively makes the dialling of local numbers a mandatory 10-digit exercise (the three-digit area code plus the last seven digits of the phone number).


Although mandatory 10-digit dialling is six months away, the country’s major telecommunications providers, Flow and Digicel, are advising non-smartphone users to start editing local numbers in their contact list to reflect the ‘876’ area code before the seven-digit phone number.


According to OUR spokesperson Elizabeth Bennett Marsh, the telecoms providers have explained that users of non-smartphones will have to manually input the area code in front of their contacts as there is no facility for them to do it otherwise.


In contrast, smartphone users will have the advantage of utilising applications, or “apps”, that can update a person’s mobile phone contact list by automatically adding the area code.


Come May 31, Jamaica will have its new area code to supplement the existing decades-old code, but there will be a permissive dialling period to allow users enough time to familiarise themselves with the new calling method. During that period, both seven-digit and 10-digit dialling will be allowed. However, when the permissive dialling period has ended at 12:01 a.m. on October 30, only 10-digit dialing will be allowed.


Jamaica’s 876 area code was assigned in June 1996. It was envisaged then that the area code would provide sufficient numbering capacity for the next 20 years of demand growth. But, in 2009, after just 13 years, the country had to consider the introduction of a new area code to augment the existing ‘876’ numbering space and, consequently, to move from the current standardised 7-digit to a mandatory 10-digit dialling for all local calls.

Cable and Wireless Phone Booth

Jamaica is the first North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA) country in the region to implement an additional area code.

British residents deported to Jamaica told to ‘put on accent’

Labour MP David Lammy condemns government leaflet telling new arrivals how to blend in

What’s Your Instagram & Twitter? US wants 5 years’ worth of social media history from visa applicants

Almost everyone applying for a US visa will be asked to list their social media accounts before being granted entry, under proposals put forward by Donald Trump’s administration.


Applicants will be required to submit details of any accounts held in the preceding five years on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

An estimated 14.7 million people a year would be affected by the move, which includes submissions for both immigrant and non-immigrant visas.


Those countries with visa-free travel to America, such as Britain, would not be affected but non-exempt countries such as China, India and Mexico would be hit.

The proposal was made by the US state department and submitted to the Office of Management and Budget, which has 60 days to decided whether to approve.

It comes after Mr Trump talked up the need for “extreme vetting” at America’s borders during his successful 2016 election campaign.


The Trump administration had already announced including it would roll out the request on applications for immigrant visas – meaning those for foreigners who wish to live in the US.

This change would expand the checks to non-immigrant visas, those issued to people visiting the US temporarily whose countries do not have a visa-free agreement.

Applicants would also be asked for their email addresses, telephone numbers and travel history over the last five years as well as whether they have ever been deported.


Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union said: “People will now have to wonder if what they say online will be misconstrued or misunderstood by a government official.


Extreme vetting may get even more extreme under a new proposal that asks U.S. visa applicants for their social media accounts, email addresses, and phone numbers.

The proposal seeks to add questions to immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications. For example:

One question lists multiple social media platforms and requires the applicant to provide any identifiers used by applicants for those platforms during the five years preceding the date of application. The platforms listed may be updated by the Department by adding or removing platforms. Additional platforms will be added only if collection is consistent with the uses described in the Supporting Statement and after Office of Management and Budget approval.

In addition, the applicant will be given the option to provide information about any social media identifiers associated with any platforms other than those that are listed that the applicant has used in the last five years. The Department will collect this information from visa applicants for identity resolution and vetting purposes based on statutory visa eligibility standards.

That’s not all; other questions will ask applicants to provide a five-year history of “previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, and international travel; whether the applicant has been deported or removed from any country; and whether specified family members have been involved in terrorist activities.”


U.S. to Seek Social Media Details From All Visa Applicants

The State Department wants to require all U.S. visa applicants to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers, vastly expanding the Trump administration’s enhanced vetting of potential immigrants and visitors.

In documents to be published in Friday’s Federal Register, the department said it wants the public to comment on the proposed new requirements, which will affect nearly 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the U.S. each year. Previously, social media, email and phone number histories were only sought from applicants identified for extra scrutiny, such as those who have traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations. An estimated 65,000 people per year are in that category.

The new rules would apply to virtually all applicants for immigrant and non-immigrant visas. The department estimates it would affect 710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million non-immigrant visa applicants, including those who want to come to the U.S. for business or education, according to the documents.

The documents were posted on the Federal Register’s website on Thursday but the 60-day public comment period won’t begin until Friday’s edition is published.

If the requirements are approved by the Office of Management and Budget, applications for all visa types would list a number of social media platforms and require the applicant to provide any account names they may have had on them over the previous five years. It would also give the applicant the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed in the application.

In addition to their social media histories, visa applicants will be asked for five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, international travel and deportation status, as well as whether any family members have been involved in terrorist activities.

Only applicants for certain diplomatic and official visa types may be exempted from the requirements, the documents said.


Damian Marley Talks ‘Living It Up’ Video & Taking His Son Back to Jamaica

Bob Marley passed away over 30 years ago but remains a renowned reggae legend whose music, from his conscious lyrics and revolutionary anthems, is deeply rooted in Jamaican culture and radiates throughout the works of the generations that followed. Bob Marley’s children have kept his legacy alive, including Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, whose latest album Stony Hill  an ode to the Jamaican neighborhood the Marley siblings grew up in — has his father’s influence peppered throughout.

“[Stony Hill] is in uptown Jamaica, the privileged area, so it was good. But still, I grew up exposed to my roots and my family’s tradition so I had a connection with people who came from the places where my father grew up,” he told Billboard. Damian, the legend’s youngest son, was just two years old when his father passed but felt a connection to Bob Marley through his catalog of music and conversations with his family members.


Now a father and celebrated reggae artist in his own right, Damian Marley says it’s the perfect time to expose his own son to the Jamaican culture and the history of the Marley family. On Stony Hill standout “Living It Up,” Jr. Gong celebrates his father’s rise from the streets of Trenchtown to provide a better life for his family. Damian teamed up with Tidal for an exclusive mini-documentary and music video for “Living It Up” where he toured his hometown of Kingston with his son to teach him to count his blessings.

What was it like growing up in Stony Hill?

It was good, I didn’t have a need for anything – my stepfather and my mother made sure of that – I was very comfortable. I went to one of Jamaica’s best schools here in Kingston in a very safe neighborhood, so I didn’t have to worry about violence or anything of that nature. It’s in uptown Jamaica, the privileged area, so it was good. But still, I grew up exposed to my roots and my family’s tradition so I had a connection with people who came from the places where my father grew up. He grew up in Trenchtown and Nine Miles, the countryside of Jamaica so I grew up very rounded in terms of my exposure to different walks of life and society here in Jamaica.

How was Bob Marley’s legacy and influence explained to you as a child?

I was young when my father passed, just two years old so I learned a lot about my father through his music. Discovering his albums and songs was another way for me to get to know my father. Of course, through conversations with my bigger sisters and my mom, I learned more but the music was definitely a way for me to connect.

“Living It Up” is a celebration of your success and your father making “out of the ghetto.” What has growing up in both Stony Hill and Trenchtown taught you about yourself?

Even the probability of me being conceived is not something that happens regularly in Jamaica, where you have a man that comes from Trenchtown who gets with a woman from where my mother comes from. So the whole story of “Living It Up” is an inspiration in itself; I’m saying my father was disciplined enough and worked hard and stayed focused so much that he was able to elevate from where he grew up to have a child like myself who grew up in a more privileged environment than him. The point of the song is to highlight that, that’s it’s possible once you stay focused on your dream – anything is possible.

That’s also what you teach your son in the video. Was that his first trip to Jamaica?

He went there once at a very young age but this is the first time he’s really been to Kingston, so it was a great experience and feeling to show him where his family comes from.

How long did the video take to shoot?

It was two days of shooting. We did one day of shooting down in the Port Antonio at the mansion and then the documentary was done on another day here in Kingston.

Where was the mansion scene from the video shot?

That was in Port Antonio, Jamaica at a castle – you can go there and go on tours and stuff.

We get a snippet of your talk with your son in the video. What were the conversations like that day as you both toured Jamaica?

I was basically explaining to him the contrast between the two neighborhoods but also, the contrast between where he lives in America and Jamaica. He sees his grandfather on posters but explaining to him why his grandfather is important to reggae music, why reggae music is important to the world and Jamaica so he can understand the deeper meaning behind my songs and our family. I try to break it down so he understands the culture of Rastafari, the Jamaican culture, and making it out of Trenchtown.

Based on the video, he seems like a natural star. Was the dancing moment with you and your son intentional?

It all happened on the fly, organically. Whatever he saw me do, he just mirrored it for a couple takes and we kind of figured it out along the way. It was all very natural because that’s how we are every time we hang out, we didn’t have to put on for the camera so we were just being ourselves, I didn’t want him to be too conscious of the camera.

Has your son ever expressed interest in music?

Yes, he actually plays drums better than I do. [Laughs]

Why was it important to document this experience not only for you and your son but the visual as well?

It was actually my idea to include in the video. We were playing around with some different ideas to bring this story to life and with or without the video, I always wanted to bring my son to Kingston. I wanted to bring him and document it so it can be a part of the video because it works with the concept of the song. The song is very personal and I just wanted to document my personal history for him because he was saying to me that things are going to great and he can’t wait to show his kids so now that history is documented.

He was able to meet my grandmother, which is his great-grandmother, while he was here. I wanted him to keep the memory of his first time in Kingston and meeting his great-grandmother, hanging out with his cousins he has never met before. Hopefully, that’s just the beginning of him having a closer relationship with each of there family members.


40 homes to be built by Food For The Poor Jamaica

Forty poverty-stricken families will have the comfort of new two-bedroom houses from Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica later this year, thanks to donations committed thus far by individuals, companies and others during the charity organisation’s third annual 5K Run/Walk held on May 13 at Emancipation Park in Kingston, Jamaica.

At the Run/Walk event, Andrew Mahfood, Chairman of FFP Jamaica announced that the charity intends on constructing 100 houses from the event and they are grateful for the 40 houses already committed.

“When you hear us say that we want to build 100 homes, that’s just a drop in the bucket. We need to build 10,000 houses, because there are tens of thousands of Jamaicans who we have seen and are now on our waiting list who are desperately in need of houses,” Mahfood passionately said.

Mahfood strongly believes the goal of constructing 100 houses from the event will be achieved as persons and organisations are still committing to the 5K.

Over 100 houses have been built since 2015 from funds raised during the two previous 5K Run/Walk events.

Mahfood said, “Food For The Poor Jamaica is extremely grateful for the support received. No charity can survive without the support system of their nation. We are happy that individuals, the private and public sectors, groups from all 14 parishes across, members of our diaspora and people living outside of Jamaica, decided to support us through contributions, pledges and donations through the internet.”
Marsha Burrell-Rose, Marketing Manager, FFP Jamaica, announced that: National Bakery, Jamaica Public Service, National Commercial Bank, ReMax, Black Ink Marketing & Events Solution Limited, First Caribbean Bank, Red Stripe, Running Events, Rototech, Supreme Ventures, Zoukie, Hi Pro, Rotary Club and Cornwell Bankers, have committed houses from corporate Jamaica. Other donors include: Yohan Blake, and Michael Hylton.

All funds committed by these persons and organisations were matched equally by Food For The Poor Florida.
In 2015, approximately 842 houses were constructed by FFP Jamaica. While other houses were constructed by other Food For The Poor organisations in Latin America and Caribbean countries including Trinidad & Tobago, Honduras, St Vincent, Guyana, Haiti, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organisations, started in Jamaica in 1983 with the objective of distributing food items through churches, but have now expanded to address housing, education, health care, prison ministry, agriculture and social outreach.|P