Barbados has set January 2021 as the starting point of its medical cannabis industry and interested individuals will be allowed to enter the industry, just not at the same time. Barbados has been considering legalizing medical cannabis since last year.
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Indar Weir, promised a smooth launch in January 2021 and said the potential economic benefits were not something to ignore. Weir also said only the finished product would be exported to avoid the same issues that the sugar industry dealt with.
“It is really, really a phenomenal thing, and it is something that we cannot turn a blind eye to. We have to capitalize on any opportunity that confronts us now because later on it will not be here,” he said. “There will be too many other options. We have to leverage our position now.”
In an effort to prepare for the upcoming industry, Barbados’ Cannabis Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has worked with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council of Barbados to offer training and certifications in cannabis growing.
Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority (BMCLA), Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight, also mentioned that although the price for a medical cannabis industry license is high, all applicants approved will have the option to pay the fees in three installments.
“We are putting things into place to allow for equal participation from every level of person who wants to participate in the industry. If you look at our license fees it covers five years. So, a Tier 1 cultivator license which is about $29,700 is really less than $6,000 per year and that total is inclusive of costs like compliance inspections and costs for track and trace,” said Dr. Munro-Knight.