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Spotlight Cannabis-Nassau Guardian

The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has promised to “develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for cannabis cultivation, harvesting and export, ensuring that the industry creates opportunities for many, not just a few.” ..

Agriculture Minister Clay Sweeting hopes that a law to realize such an industry will be passed by the end of the year.

“You definitely have a medical condition that you can benefit from, and that’s one aspect,” Sweeting said. National Review.

“I think it could also be the source of a new industry in the Bahamas. I definitely support medicinal. To me, with something he has a condition and it can help him. I have a son who can benefit from it for being, so when it gets home, I think it’s a completely different ball game.

“I think it’s good for the country. It will allow family islanders to expand in the agricultural sector as well.”

In pursuing the cannabis path, the Davis administration was appointed in October 2018 with extensive recommendations compiled by the Bahama National Commission on Marijuana, co-chaired by former Deputy Police Secretary Quinn McCartney and Bishop Simeon. It’s a good idea to take into account a series of studies. hole.

The Commission submitted a report to then Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minis on August 31, 2021, two weeks before the general election in which voters dismissed Minis and the Free National Movement.

But Nassau Guardian Previously leaked draft preliminary reports were reported, but the final report was not published – until now.

Recommendations:

In the final report, the Commission makes a series of recommendations.

Important recommendations are the necessary amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA), which promotes legalization and regulation of cannabis for medical purposes and provides appropriate regulation related to cannabis and cannabis cultivation, processing and distribution. That is. A base product for people prescribed to use cannabis for medical purposes.

The Commission recommended treating cannabis prescriptions like any other psychotropic drug.

It is also recommended that people who are prescribed medical cannabis have access to the right amount of product for their condition and allow them to grow enough in places where they cannot grow. This is to allow licensed relatives and caregivers over the age of 21 (at various stages of growth) to grow the required amount of plants.

The Commission recommends that individuals who are prescribed medical cannabis and cannot or do not grow it have affordable access to cannabis supplies from regulated pharmacies or pharmacies. .. ..

In addition, although possession of cannabis is illegal for recreational purposes, it is recommended that small amounts of possession be criminalized and that necessary amendments be made to maintain the amount of cannabis that can be possessed by persons over the age of 21. increase. Be 1 ounce for personal use and for not receiving a criminal record.

The Commission proposes to review the amount set for non-criminalization every two years after a comprehensive analysis / impact investigation has been conducted.

He states that the relevant law should be amended as soon as possible in order to immediately eliminate the criminal record of all individuals convicted of possessing cannabis.

The final report states: This is perceived as a paradox. Because non-criminalization itself does not provide a legal and legitimate means of obtaining a cannabis supply.

“We understand that non-criminalization can further promote the existing illegal black market for people to obtain cannabis. This has its own law enforcement challenges.”

The Commission recommends amending the Dangerous Drugs Act to allow Rastafarians and other religious groups with cannabis as communion to own and use cannabis for communion purposes.

Also, Rastafarians and other religious groups that have cannabis as a sacrament recommend that they be allowed to grow cannabis in zoned and regulated areas.

In terms of legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes, the Commission will continue to work on legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes, including further literature and data retrieval, and consultation by other government-established bodies. It is recommended that you be allowed to do so.

The Commission ensures that all businesses involved in the cannabis industry are Bahamian-owned, that Bahamian ownership is at least 51%, and that foreign companies can partner with Bahamans to hold up to 49%. It is recommended that the provisions for this be created by law. Company stock.

“Preparations must be made to ensure that the Bahamans are actively involved in all aspects of the licensed business,” says the Commission.

In addition, the Commission stated that the cannabis industry should be prepared for taxation and that the funds generated from the taxation should be used to operate independent authorities and regulate the industry. I am.

“We recommend that you don’t over-tax,” says the Commission.

In its “Blueprint for Change,” PLP promised to “encourage joint ventures in the medicinal cannabis industry.”

attitude

The Commission’s final report includes the results of a local market research survey conducted in late 2020 and a survey conducted by strategic firm Public Domain. The company interviewed 1,000 residents (confirmed to be over 18 years old) identified by random phone call selection of numbers throughout the Bahamas.

Respondents found that the use of medical cannabis had very strong support (84%).

More men (87%) showed support compared to 82% of the women surveyed.

There was maximum support among respondents aged 18-34 (90%) and respondents aged 35-54, with widespread support across age categories.

Support for enabling medical use in the Bahamas remained strong among older respondents (74%).

Outlined further results of the public domain investigation, the Commission stated in its final report:

Respondents were asked about doctors prescribing cannabis products for children. According to doctors’ prescriptions, 58% of those surveyed said they think parents should allow their children to take medical cannabis.

When asked about how medical cannabis should be distributed, if it is legalized, most of the respondents (57%) will be in a structured environment such as a clinic, pharmacy, or independent pharmacy. I liked to distribute it.

However, most respondents (55%) did not support people who could grow cannabis at home.

However, if the decision is made to allow individuals to grow plants for their own use, 74% should have some restrictions, such as the number and size of plants they can grow. I think.

Support for legalization of cannabis is not very strong for religious reasons, and even weaker for adult recreational use.

On the question of whether cannabis should be granted for religious purposes, 45 percent disagreed that it should be legalized for sacrament purposes.

40% objected to its use and 15% said they were unsure or uncertain whether it should be allowed.

Studies have found that support for adult recreational use of cannabis is associated with age.

Support is 50% in the 18-34 age group, and support for the elderly is declining. 36% for 35-54 years old and 22% for 55 years old and over.

It should be noted that men are evenly divided on the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational purposes, and women are more strongly opposed, according to the Commission.

The results also showed that:

There is support to change the current legal system, including non-criminalization, and to clear the records of those convicted of possessing cannabis.

We strongly support the adoption of a legal framework that regulates the cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis-related products.

There is also strong support for restricting access to cannabis for people under the age of 20 and restricting the use of cannabis in public spaces.

There is strong support for the Bahamas ownership of the cannabis-related industry.

“As in the rest of the world, it is clear that Bahamian attitudes towards cannabis are changing in all age groups,” the Commission said.

“For the sake of explanation, the fact that discussions were sometimes held in church buildings during the work of the Commission is an indicator of change in itself, and most of the previous negative to cannabis plants. Perceptions are seen differently. “

The Commission further explains, “But the change in attitude towards cannabis by the Bahamans can be explained as cautious. There is support for liberalization and reexamination of attitudes towards mysterious plants, but perhaps the Bahamans. I have the impression that you may want the change to happen in stages.

future

In a parliamentary speech in October 2020, then Prime Minister Minis said the government would consider the possibility of legalizing the hemp industry, including variations of low THC cannabis, a major compound of cannabis that produces high sensation. ..

Minis has submitted an executive summary submitted by the Economic Recovery Commission (ERC). In this summary, the full legalization of marijuana for medical, religious and recreational purposes, and the production and manufacture, sale, consumption, and export of marijuana.

Of course, none of them happened under the previous administration.

Asked yesterday whether the Davis administration would use the marijuana committee’s report, Agriculture Minister Sweeting said this was an issue that the lawyer’s president needed to address.

National Review I sent a message to Attorney General Ryan Pinder yesterday morning asking the same question, but I didn’t get a response until last night.

In January 2020, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) leader Philip Davis called the cannabis reform promised by then Prime Minister Minis a “public relations gimmick,” and the Minis administration later spent so much time on marijuana law. I questioned the reason.

It will be interesting to see how long it will take for the current administration to bring this issue into the limelight.

Sweeting said on Monday: need to do it. “

https://thenassauguardian.com/spotlight-on-cannabis/ Spotlight Cannabis-Nassau Guardian

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