DR. BAIRD TO CHAIR BROAD-BASED COMMITTEE TO ADVANCE WORK ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CANNABIS INDUSTRY

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 30, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has put together a group of experts to provide technical support to further advance the work towards the decriminalization of cannabis and the establishment of a marijuana industry in the Federation.

The broad based Cannabis Core Committee of experts will focus on ensuring that the St. Kitts and Nevis cannabis legislation is the most modern and progressive in the region and advise on the necessary systems to make the industry a real and substantial one that contributes to the health and wellness of the people, creates jobs and helps generate income.

“The establishment of a modern industry requires a lot of work and preparation and especially one which has to date been part and parcel of deeply held ideas regarding its use, its legitimacy, and even its legality a lot of work still remains to be done,” said Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris during Tuesday’s (July 30, 2019) sitting of the National Assembly.

Prime Minister Harris indicated that the committee will be chaired by Dr. Wycliffe Baird who “has been involved with the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with their cannabis legislation and industry and he has done work in Africa in relation to this, so he comes to the committee already prepared and knowledgeable with regard to this particular activity.”

Members of the Cannabis Core Committee are also drawn from the critical stakeholder groups such as the Christian Council, the Rastafarian community, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the youth, the Office of the Attorney General and comprises a number of cannabis experts in the likes of Dr. Andre Gordon, Ms. Lisa Grant, Dr. Annabelle Manalo and Mr. Marcus Ramkissoon. 

Other members of the committee are Ras Eli X Freeman; Mr. Melvin Marcelo Agard; Dwayne Hendrickson, CARICOM Youth Ambassador; Ms. Kara Daly, representing the Chamber of Industry and Commerce; Cannon Dwane Cassius, representative of the St. Kitts Christian Council; Senior Crown Counsel Ms. Tashna Powell, representing the Office of the Attorney General; Ms. Allison Isaac, Parliamentary Counsel, Office of the Attorney General and Ras Iroy – Chairman of the Organization of the Rastafarian.

Prime Minister Harris said this approach of bringing together people “with independent minds and giving them the challenge and opportunity to be of national service and to help the country” has become a hallmark of the Team Unity administration.

Members of the Cannabis Core Committee held their first meeting today at the National ICT Center. That meeting was attended by Prime Minister Harris and the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Andrew Skerritt. 

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