Friday 6th April, 2018 – A four-person group, three Canadians and one Antiguan, with an interest in producing medical cannabis, came to Cabinet in order to advise on the kinds of steps required by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in order to make possible the growing, harvesting, processing and sale of medical cannabis in its many forms.
The Government hopes to be able to pass the laws that would allow cannabis to be grown under control conditions, or with licenses; to be processed like any pharmaceutical in a laboratory that adheres to high standards; and, sold in a domestic market, having been transformed into a variety of medicinal products.
The Cabinet agreed that Canada’s laws are the best fit to be a model, although Britain, Germany, Switzerland and Brazil are pursuing the same path for growers of the cannabis plants. The Cabinet learned that the laws of Jamaica have been adapted to achieve similar ends, but the process has proven to be very unwieldy for producers seeking licenses. Canada, the second largest state in geographic size on the planet, has federal laws that make the growing, harvesting and processing of medical cannabis uniform throughout its many Provinces.
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Several months ago, in February 2018, the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda legalized the possession of 15 grams of cannabis for personal use, and allows each household to grow four plants in order to take the criminal element out of cannabis production.
Now, the Government is going one step further, arranging for this agricultural product to be grown under certain conditions and eventually turned into useful pharmaceuticals that can relieve discomfort and pain in sickle-cell patients, epilepsy, asthma and other human diseases.
One expert in the group has promised to return to Antigua in a few weeks in order to provide further assistance with the realization of the new revenue-raising method which will be pursued vigorously.