Despite businesses showing an interest in setting up shop on the island through the medical marijuana industry, licenses are yet to be distributed.
Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst, pointed to a delay in the preparation of leases as the reason for the stalled process.
According to Hurst the delay stems from the provision in the law that mandates that the person or company seeking a license must first obtain leases for the lands upon which they intend to grow the marijuana. He said this has not yet been done and this is why no license has yet been issued. He emphasized that there are several persons ‘with cheques in their hands’ awaiting the issuance of leases so that they may obtain their licenses.
A Canadian medical marijuana company in 2018 indicated it could provide US $ 18.7 million annually to the government in taxes, fees, licenses and export duties for every 25 acres of cannabis it could harvest.
The company’s representatives told Cabinet then that its systems of extraction would allow it to yield significant quantities of oils from the strains of plants that it would instruct the farmers to grow; the oils would be bottled under controlled circumstances and exported to markets where there is a demand. Their investment would exceed $8 million dollars in machines and $3 million in buildings, patent use, the purchase of seeds, security of farms and other expenses.
Then there is Mike Tyson, who has indicated to the government his interest in establishing a Cannabis farm on the island.