PM Terrance Drew passes Cannabis and Medical legislative Amendments

PM Terrance Drew moved two key legislative amendments, The Cannabis Bill 2023 and The Medical Bill 2023 in the National Assembly.

PM Terrance Drew moved two key legislative amendments, The Cannabis Bill and The Medical Bill 2023 in the National Assembly.
PM Terrance Drew moved two key legislative amendments, The Cannabis Bill and The Medical Bill 2023 in the National Assembly.

Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis: Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew passed two key legislative legislative amendments in the National Assembly to guide the Development of the Medicinal Cannabis Authority on November 20, 2023.

The Cannabis (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Medical (Amendment) Bill, 2023, had been passed in their second reading.

Notably, the Cannabis Act was amended to transfer the responsibility of the Medicinal Cannabis Authority from the Prime Minister to the Minister responsible for Agriculture, Samal Duggins.

The decision was taken to increase the membership of the authority while the Medical Act was amended to change the classification of cannabis from a poison.

PM Drew stated that these legislative amendments would ensure the medical cannabis industry to rolled out in a proper, stable and sustainable manner that would benefit the people and Federation in a positive way.

“Basically, what we are doing is making sure that this industry has the legal framework and underpinning that is necessary to ensure that it is built out correctly and would benefit our people and Federation in a positive way”, he commented.

It is to be noted that this was not just an activity for the government alone, as the government needs to partner with those who are already part of this industry, such as the Rastafarian Community and others.

It is to be added in the remarks of the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis that the government should reach out to other experts in the private field who would help them to guide in the development of the medical industry, as the expertise that is needed does not always lie within the government.

He further added that this initiative has the probability of creating hundreds of well-paying jobs in the market, which will mark a significant triumph. 

There is a need to utilize the skills and knowledge of the citizens beyond the public service sector, as the amendments are critical to the advancement of a powerful medical cannabis industry in the Federation.

The Medicinal Cannabis Authority is headed by Dr Garfield Alexander, Chief Executive Officer.