Saint Kitts and Nevis legalized medical cannabis in 2019. Since then, the Caribbean nation has made no progress on its regulation, which Prime Minister Terrance Drew regrets, who told the St Kitts-Nevis Information Service that the country was lagging behind other Caribbean countries in developing a medical cannabis industry.
“Antigua is ahead, St. Vincent is ahead, Jamaica is ahead, and we know that people go to those countries because they have a well-controlled, well-monitored industry, … which allows the use of the cannabis. So we’ll be on that path, and we’ll see a lot of action in that area in year one,” said Terrance Drew.
The Prime Minister added, “We have established a Marijuana Commission and this Commission will begin to work in earnest to enable us to achieve this goal. We will then take steps to expunge the criminal records of those convicted of cannabis possession. We believe this should not be used as a way to limit people’s advancement in their own lives and will therefore put in place the necessary legislation to achieve this. »
Additionally, Prime Minister Drew has made it clear that his administration will ensure that the citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis are the first to benefit from the establishment of this industry.
He said, “Right now, we don’t see outsiders necessarily coming to dominate this industry. This industry must be developed by our people. We won’t make that mistake, and that’s why we will, of course, meet with those who are involved in this industry and find ways to make sure they’re part of it… I would say right now, the objective is to ensure that local producers are protected [et] that our people are protected within this industry. »
In Jamaica, the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) was established in 2015, with a specific role to establish and regulate the legal cannabis and hemp industry.
The Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Medical Cannabis Authority was created by the Medical Cannabis Industry Act of 2018.
On June 14, 2021, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, through its Medical Cannabis Authority, issued the first official license for the production of medical cannabis. The first license was issued to Grow Antigua – a public/private hybrid enterprise that includes government, Rastafari communities and private enterprise as central stakeholders.
In parallel with its legalization of therapeutic cannabis in 2019, Saint Kitts and Nevis decriminalized its non-medical use up to 56 grams per person.