The relationship between the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority (BMCLA) and the Barbados Drug Service (BDS) was formalised by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday.
Acting CEO of the BMCLA, Senator Shanika Roberts-Odle, and director of the Drug Service, Maryam Hinds, signed the document at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPIT).
It spells out the import and export parameters, inspections, transport of product, waste disposal, and International Narcotics Control Board Reporting.
Hinds stated that cannabinoids were safer than nicotine and were very helpful for individuals as young as babies to the elderly. They could reduce 200 epileptic fits a day to one or two.
She explained there were four or five medicinal cannabis products that were imported for medical prescription and distribution by medical practitioners.
The public will soon be given the names of the companies and businesses/owners who have the licences to participate in the industry.
Roberts-Odle said the BMCLA has approved 18 licences – four tier one cultivator, two tier two cultivator, three retail distributor and two export licences – as well as seven licensees. Seventy-seven per cent of the ownership is local, 15 per cent is both local and CARICOM-owned while the remaining eight per cent is both local and international.
Meanwhile, interested Barbadians 18 years and over, can now earn certification in cannabis cultivation at SJPI.
Principal Ian Drakes said this course was “a long time coming” and they were hoping to begin in September. The objective was to teach people not how to abuse, but how to grow and use medicinal cannabis for both medicinal purposes and monetary gain.
Roberts-Odle stated that not only did they have an undisclosed area for the practical aspect of cannabis cultivation, but they also conducted “cannabis crash courses” which were oversubscribed by 200 people. (JH)