Categorized | National News

Cannabis Discussion Continues with Caribbean Experts

Journal Staff Writer

Experts from across the Caribbean region made up a panel as The Ministry of Agriculture and
Marine Resources hosted a regional conversation on cannabis at Superclubs Breezes.
The panel, inclusive experts from Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Chair of the
Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Task Force, discussed their views on cannabis,
how it has been implemented and executed in their respective countries as well as future
discussions still to be had in relation to the cannabis industry, all in an effort to guide The
Bahamas in its legislation development.
The conversation also sought to address the concerns from the public ranging from preventing
illegal cannabis use, financing for new farmers, encouraging local buying, decriminalization of
the substance, and strict rules for use.
Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Jomo Campbell noted how important it is to have
public conversations such as this in preparation for legislation.
“Well, that was the whole purpose of the conversation here this afternoon to get the ball rolling.”
he told reporters.
“Obviously, you know, this wasn’t the first conversation, but as you can see, we had a
perspective where we want to involve regional partners, our brothers and sisters right in the
Caribbean who have done this before.
“We have to realized that we have the brainpower right here in the Caribbean.
“Any specialist, any expert that we are looking to rely on, we can find them just a few minutes
away, rather than having to travel beyond the Caribbean border, more specifically. And so,
definitely, I’ve had colleagues messaging me whilst the conversation was going on, saying
thumbs up to The Bahamas, and so this is something that we want to encourage because as was
said earlier, we want to get it right. We don’t want to just put a piece of legislation out there and
have to amend and reamend over and over.
“So, we want to get it right. We want to get as much input from all the stakeholders and that’s
why this session was a public session. It was open, no one was barred from coming and everyone
was allowed to say their piece.”
Minister Campbell also announced that there has been land allocation for cannabis farming, but
following the conversation, things may change.
“But what I can say is after everything that we have heard in here, we may actually have to go
back to the drawing board because there appears to be a lot of excited cultivators in the making.

“And so, it’s definitely something that the government wants to address, because we want to be
supportive of the new industry and persons trying to break the ice getting in.”
The Rastafarian community was out in full force at the event.
Rastafarian priest Rithmond McKinney commended the government for taking their concerns
about their religious practices into consideration as well as addressing them during the
“The government still [wants] to find out exactly how the Rastaman use the cannabis,”
McKinney said.
“And the first draft, they said, we must use it within the confinement of our tabernacle. We let
them know that that’s impossible.
“So, they definitely decided to change that, of course so that’s not a problem right now.
“I think the government will definitely change that along with some other issues concerning
license and how they’re going to use it. So, I say again, it’s still a process. So, it’s nothing or
totally I can say that this is exactly what’s going the draft.
“So, we’re still going through as the persons from agriculture said earlier tonight that it’s still in
process. So, that’s where we are.”
The government of The Bahamas has plans on developing policies, procedures and guidelines to
establish and regulate cannabis for medical, scientific and religious use.
For those interested in joining the conversation and giving their relevant research and views, they
can be submitted at

Written by Jones Bahamas

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