Kingstown, February 7th, 2018…The authorities in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) have made slight adjustments to the laws on marijuana control in the country, to facilitate the first ever scientific testing of the once tabooed marijuana plant.
The radical move is just one of many steps being taken by the SVG government to establish a homegrown medical cannabis industry.
For decades marijuana users around the world have compared Vincy weed with that originating from Jamaica. Ones preference has been oftentimes biased, based on the connection of the user to either of the two Caribbean islands.
While this bragging right of having the best has impacted market prices in the underground marijuana trade, it was without scientific merit.
On Thursday, 8th February, Kingstown St. Vincent and the Grenadines will begin a journey which can place this historical, unscientific conversation to rest.
The technology available to test for CBD, THC and oil content will be brought to the shores of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to provide the much-anticipated results.
The results of the local marijuana testing will be a turning point in the commodity’s existence. Should the result reflect comparatively high levels of THC, CBD and oil content, the price for Vincy weed is projected to shoot through the roof.
A veritable Vincy Gold rush will ensue and traditional farmers could be well placed to obtain a lion’s share of the industry’s proceeds.
Should the results be bad, however, the black market price for Vincy weed can hit an all-time low? Local farmers may have to seek a niche market for a commodity which before scientific verification benefited from national acclaim.
As part of the scientific testing process, samples of the herb will be collected from over 10 different locations above the 1000ft contour-volcanic mountainsides of mainland St. Vincent.
These areas have been compromised largely due to excessive marijuana cultivation and other unsustainable and illegal farming practices.
Several towns and villages have suffered severe floods over the past five years as a result of the increased velocity of the runoff water as a direct result of deforestation.
Several citizens have died as a result of these floods and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages have been experienced.
Should local strains be seen as not the best for the medicinal extraction industry it will bring justification for the importation of strains which have been tried and tested internationally.
If one is to mirror this industry which is on the rise with the 50-year-old banana industry, the introduction of new strains and varieties is not new. Approximately 15 years ago, the Jaffa variety of banana was introduced to farmers in St. Vincent which led to a significant increase in the yield per acre.
The embrace of more prolific varieties and breeds in plants and livestock in SVG has been advanced by the Ministry of Agriculture for several decades.
No one can doubt that it is an exciting period in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The island’s Minister of Agriculture Hon. Saboto Caesar expressed the ministry’s quest to fully diversify agriculture and livestock production in the country.
Caesar says, “We are seeing the revival of subsectors such as coffee, cocoa, cattle, and now possibly cannabis for medicinal purposes in the very near future, agriculture is on the up!”
SVG is under the spotlight. All stakeholders will have to ensure that when the history is written it record that our country was made a better place by our collective efforts.