The meeting of Parliament on Thursday will hear the first reading of three marijuana-related bills as the government pushes ahead with the establishment of a medical marijuana industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Saboto Caesar, will table the three bills, namely, The Medicinal Cannabis Industry Bill, The Cannabis Cultivation (Amnesty) Bill, and The Permitted Use of Cannabis for Religious Purpose Bill.
The bills are coming to Parliament almost six months later than expected. The Ralph Gonsalves administration had indicated its desire to have the relevant laws passed by March.
The main opposition New Democratic Party has suggested the position it would take on the bill.
Opposition Leader Godwin Friday said in January that the government must ensure that any medical marijuana industry established in SVG benefits citizens.
“Whatever happens with the developments with respect to medical marijuana … or those persons here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines who are engaged in providing products to the people who may make medicine and so on, whatever we do has to benefit our people,” Friday said.
“It can’t be a situation where you’re simply inviting multinational pharmaceutical corporations to essentially come and dominate an industry that our local people here can benefit from,” the opposition leader further stated.
His comments come within the context of the Canadian investors who are building a resort at Mt Wynne having said that they want to offer medical marijuana treatment when the facility begins operating.