St. Kitts-Nevis government takes orderly approach to creation of a cannabis industry

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, May 23, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – A group of experts is being put together to provide technical support to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis on the way forward for the decriminalization of cannabis and the establishment of a medical cannabis industry.

The group will consist of a broad body of persons in St. Kitts and Nevis and from across the Diaspora who will plan the build out of the industry, through the development of relevant policy, regulatory framework and legislation.

This comes as the Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris-led Government continues to adopt an orderly and structured approach to the creation of the marijuana industry in St. Kitts and Nevis.

The process commenced with the tasking of the St. Kitts & Nevis (National) Marijuana Commission to undertake the necessary research and consultations to ascertain the public’s position regarding the complex issues surrounding marijuana and its use. After a thorough and exhaustive process over roughly 15 months, the Commission presented its final report to the Office of the Prime Minister on January 10, 2019. And on February 20, 2019, Prime Minister Harris announced that his Cabinet had accepted more than a dozen of the Commission’s recommendation.

In a historic move, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis introduced the landmark Cannabis Bill, 2019 in the National Assembly for its first reading on Thursday, May 9.

This structured model to the establishment of a medicinal cannabis industry in the Federation has garnered regional attention and approval and may soon be adopted by other territories, such as Trinidad and Tobago.

That country is currently considering the possibility of decriminalizing the use of marijuana and has, much like St. Kitts and Nevis did, commenced an extensive public consultation process.

Prime Minister Harris indicated that the principal beneficiaries of the cannabis industry must be locals, and noted that the recent efforts by Opposition Leader, Dr. Denzil Douglas, to bring in foreign interlopers of dubious character did not sit well with the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Hundreds of nationals, at home and abroad, have used the radio airwaves and social media platforms to describe the move by the Opposition Leader as untimely and unpatriotic.

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