Kingstown, August 31st, 2018, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Industry and Rural Transformation, Hon. Saboto Caesar, would make history when he tables three draft Bills for the establishment of a medical cannabis industry when the Parliament of St Vincent and the Grenadines convenes on September 6th, 2018.
The Order Paper for the upcoming session of Parliament reveals that Hon. Caesar would have responsibility for moving the Government motions, listed under Orders Of The Day as items 4,5 & 6 respectively.
On July 26, 2018, the government released the draft bills focusing on medical extraction and treatments; the religious right to use cannabis as a sacrament within the place of worship; and an amnesty for traditional marijuana growers.
The multi-island state continues to make advances in its quest to become a lead producer of organically certified medicinal cannabis. As part of its green economy trust, the SVG government recently imposed a ban on the importation of Roundup.
The decision followed the result of a major legal battle in the United States over the weed killer, where jurors ordered that US$289 million be paid to a man who claimed he got cancer after being exposed to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.
In a statement dated August 23rd, 2018, Hon. Agriculture minister, Saboto Caesar warned stakeholders in the region not to take the first instance of the ruling in the Roundup case lightly. “In fact, the decision of the court is a very serious matter,” he said.
Caesar also emphasized the immediate need for a coordinated engagement of all technicians in the Caribbean Community, with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other stakeholders, in order to obtain credible technical guidance.”
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a long history of agriculture production owing to the country’s fertile volcanic soil. The establishment of a medical cannabis industry is expected to create additional opportunities for Vincentian farmers and other agribusiness developments.
It is intended that the production platforms will meet renowned Global-Gap; Eurep-Gap organic (GAP, GMP) standards.
Over the last seven months, international jurist and Vincentian stakeholders have assisted with the preparation of the draft cannabis bills.
Meanwhile, the SVG government maintains a zero tolerance for the recreational use of cannabis, and has excluded it from the draft bills.