Barbados has announced plans to establish a medicinal cannabis industry project implementation unit tasked with establishing the administrative framework for the timely implementation of the project.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who delivered her administration’s 2019-2020 national budget, earlier this week, said the Unit will be headed by a director, who will be responsible for championing the programme and ensuring that an expansive educational and sensitization campaign is implemented.
She said it was necessary to explain to Barbadians “what we are doing with the development of this new industry and how it can help many many Bajans in the management of serious medical conditions which the fees in this country”.
Mottley said that one of the tasks of the unit will be to facilitate the establishment of a medicinal cannabis authority and board, which will be responsible for regulating the medicinal cannabis industry, through the formulation and implementation of appropriate policies, procedures and guidelines, as well as for the conduct of inspections.
She told legislators that the island would be seeking to establish partnerships with entities which have the necessary experience and who are willing to invest in the development of the industry.
Motley that said this would include the assistance of the University of the West Indies with establishment of a train-the-trainers programme; the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council will assist with accreditation through Caribbean or National Vocational Qualifications; and the University of Guelph for the establishment of a research and development, as well as a certification programme.
She added that her government would ensure that any policies related to medical cannabis does not exclude the participation of the Barbadian population and as a result, her administration will ensure that local entrepreneurs will be given opportunities for full participation.
She said her administration has not yet taken a decision regarding recreational cannabis.