Medicinal cannabis licences are non-renewable

Licenses issued by the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority (BMCLA) are not automatically renewed after the five-year period, nor are they transferable.

Chief executive officer, Senator Shanika Roberts-Odle, cautioned applicants at the National Council on Substance Abuse’s (NCSA) panel discussion yesterday.

“What I want to be clear about when it comes to the licensing regime is that the licenses are non-renewable. What that means is because you have a license does not mean you are going to get another license. That means you have to reapply because I have to be able to check that. I have to be able to say that within that five years when you started and you had no convictions for human trafficking, in the next five years you have not suddenly become a human trafficker,” she said while explaining that anyone that had been convicted would not be eligible for a cannabis license.

She added that it was an important feature to safeguard Barbados’ cannabis industry and the BMCLA’s reputation.

“Those are key things towards making sure that our industry does not do any harm to Barbados, towards our reputation or to the livelihood of individuals in Barbados,” Roberts-Odle said.

 

The Senator said the five years was deliberate to give the operator some breathing room.

“One thing we have also done is we have ensured that we make allowances for persons who want to get into the industry but have financial constraints to be involved.”

Roberts-Odle also revealed that BMCLA plans to establish an institution in the coming months to teach cannabis cultivation.

“I believe within the next two months we’ll also be announcing the educational institution which will be our primary education institution. [It] will be putting on cannabis cultivation level two courses that we’ve developed with TVET [Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council] and we’ve developed that with international partners, regional partners and local legacy growers who understand how to grow cannabis in Barbados,” she said.

The discussion was held at the National Union of Public Work Workers headquarters in Dalkeith Road, St Michael to explain the difference between medicinal and recreational cannabis.

The panelists included drug inspector Barbados Drug Service’ Lindsay Bynoe, senior registrar psychiatrist at the Psychiatric Hospital Ronald Chase, Deputy Director at Provincial Police’s Organised Crime Enforcement Bureau in Canada Rachel Huggins and Chief of Technical Department at Medicinal Cannabis Authority in St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Jean-Saville Cummings who shared insight into their country’s cannabis regimes and how they intend to create new regulatory frameworks to encourage the safe usage of the plant. (RT)

Eligibility for medical cannabis licences. (Picture by Shanice King)

 

 

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