Momentum is building towards a decision concerning legalising medical cannabis and industrial hemp in The Bahamas.
The Bahamas is a country within the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies in the Atlantic, north of Cuba. Home to around 389,000, it consists of more than 700 islands and cays.
The Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said last week that his Government is in the process of completing legislation for the legalization of medicinal marijuana in the country to table in Parliament. The comments were made at the commissioning ceremony for the Hope Town Shoreline Stabilization Project according to the Office Of The Prime Minister’s Facebook page.
Legalising medical cannabis has strong support in the island nation, including from the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists (CAP).
“Now, we feel that cannabis is a medicine; that all the scientific data going back decades has already proven this,” said CAP President Dr Marvin Smith.
On a related note, in October last year Prime Minister Minnis said the Government will review the possible legalization of a hemp industry.
“Our cannabis laws are outdated and must change,” Prime Minister Minnis said at the time. “The global legal cannabis market is already in the billions of dollars with significant projected growth in the years to come.”
There hasn’t been any specific news regarding hemp since, but apparently the Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana is due to deliver its final report on the establishing of a cannabis industry within a couple of weeks.
The mission of the Commission is to gather the views of residents on all issues related to cannabis. It has been collecting feedback from the public for quite some time, visiting communities to hear what residents have to say on the issue.
The PM’s October 2020 comments were in relation to a report from the Economic Recovery Committee that recommended full legalization of marijuana for medicinal, religious, and recreational purposes under a full regulatory regime overseeing production/manufacturing, sale, consumption and export. While there is little chance recreational marijuana will be legalised, the committee also recommended an exemption for hemp-derived CBD products from the regulatory oversight and permit their trade with minimal restriction.
Currently, the possession of cannabis even in small quantities in The Bahamas can result in a hefty fine or jail time.