Just how backwards is Barbados’ approach to cannabis reform?
Judging from how other regional and international countries have approached this issue, it would seem “backwards” does not aptly describe the degree of ignorance with which Barbados is unfolding theirs.
In the Bahamas, a committee charged with the drafting of an economic recovery plan recommended the country legalize cannabis for recreational, medical and religious use. What is going on with Barbadian politicians, economic recovery and cannabis reform?
The Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) called for the establishment of a regulatory body to oversee the authorization and enforcement for businesses engaged in the production, wholesale and retail of a potential cannabis industry. While Barbados is “hell” bent on the establishment of a medicinal cannabis industry that will benefit the few, everywhere else in the world understands that true cannabis reform must be people centered, with medical and economic benefits for all.
Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority
The recommendations were part of a broader report presented to Prime Minister Hubert Minnis and his Cabinet for review.
Addressing the House of Assembly, Minnis called the country’s cannabis laws “outdated” and said they need to be changed.
He said the Bahamas government will start by expunging records of those convicted for the possession of “small amounts” of marijuana in 2021.
The prime minister also promised his government will review the possible legalization of a hemp industry. Minnis said businesses would have to be Bahamian-owned or majority-Bahamian owned. He said, “there are potentially many opportunities for creative Bahamian businesspeople to get involved in this new industry,” as he addressed the House of Assembly.
The ERC report recommended the Bahamas:
- Make government-owned land available for the cultivation of cannabis, with provisions for small-scale farmers and the Rastafarian community.
- Allow for the possession of adult-use marijuana up to 2 ounces. Unsanctioned possession exceeding that limit should be punishable with a fine.
- Provide for the licensure of cannabis cafes, resorts and guesthouses for on-premises consumption.
- Exempt hemp and derivative products with minimal or no THC from regulatory limits.
Barbadians should take note of what progressive cannabis reform looks like, and understand that they are being severely short changed and bamboozled by their chosen government.
You are invited to like the Cannabis Barbados Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cnbs.bb