BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, November 20, 2023 (SKNIS) – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew moved two key legislative amendments in the National Assembly today, (November 20, 2023), that are critical to the buildout of a robust medicinal cannabis industry in the Federation.
The Cannabis (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Medical (Amendment) Bill, 2023, both had their second reading in the National Assembly and successfully passed.
The Cannabis Act was amended to transfer the responsibility of the Medicinal Cannabis Authority from the Prime Minister to the Minister responsible for Agriculture and also to increase the membership of the authority. Meanwhile, the Medical Act was amended essentially to change the classification of cannabis from a poison.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew said the legislative amendments will help to ensure that the medicinal cannabis industry is rolled out in a proper and sustainable manner.
“Basically what we are doing is making sure that this industry has the legal framework and underpinning that are necessary to ensure that it is built out correctly and would benefit our people and Federation in a positive way,” Dr. Drew said.
The Prime Minister further emphasized the significance of the Government utilizing the skills and knowledge of citizens beyond the public service sector.
“It is very critical that we get this right. This cannot be just an activity for the government alone. The government must partner with those who are already part of the industry, such as the Rastafarian Community and others. The government must also recognize that the expertise that is needed does not always lie within the government and that we should reach out to other experts in the private field, so that we can bring them in to assist us in developing this industry,” Dr. Drew said.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew added that this initiative has the potential to create hundreds of well-paying jobs, marking a significant triumph. He said that St. Kitts and Nevis has the opportunity to establish its unique brand and variety, reducing the Federation’s reliance on imports from other regions.
The Medicinal Cannabis Authority is headed by Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Garfield Alexander.