Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 13, 2020 (SKNIS): The Government of National Unity has amended and put in place the necessary framework in order to regulate the ever growing cannabis industry with the passing of the Cannabis Bill, 2020; Drugs (Prevention & Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2020 on February 12.
In his contribution to the Bill, Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards stated that the government is forward thinking.
The deputy prime minister stated that the Bill refers to medicinal cannabis. Therefore, the government is putting the legislation in place to ensure that the standards under which it is grown it is a better standard.
“You will be able to go to the supermarket and purchase what you want. So, we are now putting the legislative framework in place that if you need to go to a drug store, for example, to purchase it and you have a medical certificate giving you the right to do so you are able to do so,”
Deputy Prime Minister Richards stated that this is how the government and health authorities are better able to keep a check as to what is happening.
“If today or tomorrow, for example, five persons turn up at JNF with some sort of psychotic condition and the five persons say to you that they have been smoking, it becomes a little difficult for you to say, well, where did you get the particular strain that you have smoked from and do the necessary testing etc.,” he said.
“Now with this particular piece of legislation you are putting in place the necessary protocols so that if you have such an issue and the five persons say to you we purchased this at this particular place of business of course you can now go and do the necessary checks to find out what may have been the issue—which particular farm, for example, it came from, where was it imported from, and from there you can do all of the necessary checks and take corrective action.”
He added that in some instances a particular food item may be pulled from the stores because there are concerns with it. He said with the proper framework in place the item can be clearly identified.
“Without the framework right now where do you pull it from, where do you say you bought it from? So you are going to pull it from here or there, but if it is that you are purchasing it from a particular place at least you can say we are recalling all marijuana, all cannabis from this particular institution,” he said.
The deputy prime minister reiterated that it was imperative to regulate the industry.
“We have absolutely no doubt that as the industry progresses there are going to be changes and as you get the changes, you look at the regulations and what you can correct via the regulations, you correct. It may be necessary to come back into the Parliament and make changes and so you come back and you make the changes,” he said.
The Cannabis Bill, 2020 and Drugs (Prevention & Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2020 were successfully passed through the Honourable House during a Sitting of Parliament on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.