Govt plans medical cannabis regulation


Tribune Chief Reporter

ATTORNEY General Ryan Pinder says the Davis administration intends to advance comprehensive legislation to regulate a medical cannabis industry and a separate framework for industrial hemp.

In the Senate yesterday, Mr Pinder said this legislation is benchmarked against countries around the world that have vibrant cannabis and hemp industries.

While he did not give a timeline for the proposed legislation, the attorney general has previously marked the end of summer as the timeframe for conclusion of the legislation.

“We will advance a comprehensive suite of legislation on the regulation of cannabis, creating a new agribusiness industry in The Bahamas,” Mr Pinder said yesterday. “This legislation is internationally benchmarked against the countries around the world that are in this industry.

“This is actually a mature industry. Canada has been doing it for more than 15 years. The framework will be for the regulation of the medical cannabis industry from the farm to the border, and will provide a separate regulatory framework for industrial hemp, which is used for wellness products and for pure industrial uses such as clothing, rope and building materials all made from hemp.

“We will also provide a framework for the decriminalisation of possession of small amounts of cannabis products as part of this suite of legislation.”

Mr Pinder also highlighted the coming of a comprehensive Mental Health Bill 2022.

“In addition to the recently tabled Nurses and Midwives Bill, 2022, we will shortly table an amendment to the National Health Insurance Bill and introduce a modern and comprehensive Mental Health Bill 2022.

“This will be the most comprehensive health care compendium of legislation advanced in recent memory to provide a comprehensive framework for the healthcare, both physical and mental health care of our people.

“Coming out of COVID we know that there are many, many Bahamians that have had adverse effects on their mental health care and mental state. We need to provide modern legislation and infrastructure to address the mental health care of Bahamians.

“It is something that is not a phobia. It is a reality and we will advance legislation, cutting edge, a whole new bill to address the mental health of Bahamians.”