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St Kitts and Nevis will soon set up its own medicinal cannabis industry to reap the benefits of the burgeoning international market.
Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew told SKN Newsline today that the country is behind in the market and he noted that Kittitians and Nevisians are in Canada working on marijuana farms.
“Antigua is ahead, St Vincent is ahead, Jamaica is ahead, and we know that people travel to these countries because they would have an industry that is well-controlled, well-monitored and so forth that allows for the use of marijuana. And so, we will be on that path, and we will see a lot of action in that area within the first year,” Drew said.
“We have a marijuana commission in place and that commission would start functioning in earnest to get us there. We will then move to expunge the records of those who have criminal records for possession of marijuana. We think that that should not be used as a means to limit people’s advancement in their own lives and so we will put the necessary legislation in place to get us there.”
Establishing a marijuana industry was a campaign promise of the Prime Minister and his Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party during the recent general election.
Drew said his government plans to have the citizens and residents of St Kitts and Nevis be the primary beneficiary of the cannabis industry.
“At this point in time, we are not looking at any outside people necessarily coming in and dominating this industry. This industry is for our people to develop. We will not make that mistake, and therefore we will, of course, meet those who are involved in this industry and we will work out ways of how we can make sure that they are a part of the industry… I would say at this time, the goal is and what we will do is to make sure that the local growers are protected [and] our people are protected within that industry,” he said.
The prime minister said his government will respect a 2019 court ruling that allows islanders to legally use marijuana in the privacy of their homes.
The ruling also made it legal for adults in the Rastafari religion to use marijuana for religious purposes. (Caribbean Loop)