Orville Silvera is currently the President of the Ganja Growers and Producers Association of Jamaica (GGPAJ) . Prior to being the President, he was elected as the provisional Chairman for the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association (GFGPAJ) at the Association’s first National Consultative Meeting held on August 9, 2014, four months after it’s inauguration; succeeding Mr. Paul Burke who for personal and professional reasons resigned as Chairman retaining the post of Programme Director of the Association. In his capacity as Chairman of the GFGPAJ, Mr. Silvera was in charge of a 23 member Steering Committee and given the mandate to accelerate the advocacy for the legalization and/or decriminalization of the possession and use of small quantities of Ganja. That mandate was fulfilled.
The GFGPAJ under the leadership of Mr. Silvera, tactfully organized and collaborated with the ganja farmers and producers across all the 14 parishes in Jamaica thereby making GFGPA the most powerful advocacy group for the legalization and/or decriminalization of ganja in Jamaica. As the Chairman of GFGPAJ, he became well-known in Jamaica for championing the cause for the rights of small traditional ganja farmers, Ras Tafaris, and other potential stake holders, which led to an increase in the membership of the Association. The strategic mobilization of the lobby movement in Jamaica towards the amendment of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2015 which speaks to:
1. the decriminalization of two ounces of ganja/cannabis for private use,
2. the constitutional rights for Ras Tafaris to use ganja for sacramental purposes
3. five plants per house hold, not to be sold,
and legalization of ganja/cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic purposes.
This legislation was successfully gazette in April 2015 and to mark the success, the Association changed its name from Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association (GFGPA) by deleting the word “Future” to signal that the future has arrived, the Ganja Growers and Producers Association (GGPAJ) was born. Based on his achievements as Chairman, he was recently re-elected by the members of the Association to be the President of the GGPAJ on September 12, 2015, for the next two years term of office.
As president of the GGPAJ, Mr. Silvera is [was; April 2015-2016 April] a very active director of the Cannabis Licensing Authority CLA. The license types and basic eligibility criteria was formulated by him and in the main accepted by the Board which is responsible for regulating the cannabis industry and establishing the cannabis licensing regime in Jamaica. He was also a member of the Cannabis Business Advisory Council which constitutes industry stakeholders that make non-binding recommendation(s) to then Minister of Industry and Commerce in Jamaica.
Furthermore, Mr. Silvera is one of the co-founder of the Jamaica Cannabis Investment Company(JCIC), which seeks to be the leading consultancy firm in Jamaica and the Caribbean on Ganja/Cannabis Business development/projects and investment funding; providing guidance to both local and international investors and stakeholders. Mr. Silvera’s most significant achievement in this realm, has been JCIC’s forging corporate strategic alliances with both local and international entities involved in ganja/cannabis research and product development, particularly the strategic alliance forged between JCIC and Humboldt Industries. Orville Silvera has a passion to help in ensuring Jamaica is viewed as a Center of Excellence for plant based medicine and Ganja/Cannabis Business initiatives This has established him as one of the leading authority on Ganja Business which has earned him the title of “Ganja Business Guru”. After approximately fifty years involvement that name is not a misnomer.
Orville Silvera professional experiences also span over 30 years in social work and community organizations. He has worked in the capacity as Information and Community Development Officer in Jamaica’s social and community development agency, Jamaica Social Development Commission (SDC) and the Ministry of Justice. In the 1990’s, he also worked in a political directorate position as Executive Assistant to the Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Youth and Sports. His competency in social work and community organization has facilitated his liaison with members of the private sector, civil society groups and community groups for the purpose of disseminating and making accessible relevant information among various stakeholders in a responsible and responsive manner and for establishing cohesive partnerships.
Mr. Silvera career path also includes being a Project Manager/Contractor in the Built Environs and Property Management. In this capacity he managed multimillion dollar projects. Some of the projects supervised by him include: the upgrading of the National Stadium which spans a 6 year period and the renovation of school plants during the 1990’s. He is also currently a member of the Property Managers Association based in the United States of America.
He was also an avid Artist Manager and Record Producer in the music industry from 1979 to 1997 working with the company Jamaica Productions Limited. In this capacity, he conceptualized , promoted and produced the first National DJ Competition titled “Reggae May Day” in May 1979 which was won by DJ Pappa Richie for his song titled “Tribute to Jacob Miller” which lyrics depicted a tribute to Jacob Miller a renown reggae entertainer who had died just prior to the staging of the competition; he also drafted and negotiated engagement contracts for entertainers such as Papa Michigan & General Smiley, a duo known for chart hits that include “Nice Up Dhe Dance” and their mega hit song “One Love Jamdown”. Additionally, he produced records such as the record “Don’t Touch Crack/Rough Stuff” which was produced in 1990 and became a No. 1 hit on the British Reggae Chart. After many years producing, mostly unknown and upcoming artists, he did his last project with Junior Kelly producing the record “Love so nice” in 1997. This song became a chart hit and made Junior Kelly a household name in Reggae.
As an effective and efficient professional, Mr. Silvera focuses on strategic solution analysis to achieve the economic and social goals of the various organizations to which he was employed. This has enabled him to hone skills in research, integrating digital strategy with public relations, negotiation processes, project valuations, product feasibility and development studies, coupled with the judicious use of human and economic resources in the procurement process. As a result, he has developed a reputation for being dynamic, data- driven, customer and result-oriented. Mr. Silvera is a person whose opinion is highly sought after and whose judgment is respected and trusted, especially in Ganja/Cannabis Industry.
Mr. Silvera enjoys playing or observing sports namely athletics, football, racquet ball and table tennis. He also has a keen interest in working with youths, especially youths deemed to be at-risk. He is the Founding President of Warieka Association of Youth which established the Leila Tomlinson Basic School, named after Jamaica’s first female Rhode’s scholar. The basic school has been renamed and is now known as the Warieka Basic School and is located in Rockfort, Jamaica. He loves history and political science and has also engaged in voluntary public education training and human resource training for political organizations in Jamaica.
Lastly, Mr. Silvera has academic qualifications in the area of Business Administration, Project Management, Social Work, Community Development and HR Trainer of Trainers.
Mr Silvera is now tunnel vision on helping to establish a sustainable investor friendly compliant legally regulated cannabis industry for Jamaicans as patients, industry players and our many partners.