Caribbean News

Cannabis Committee chairman wants locals to benefit from industry

The chairman of the Cannabis Core Committee, Dr. Wycliffe Baird, says he believes the establishment of a marijuana industry there should be primarily for the benefit of the people of the twin-island Federation.

“I think that this industry should be built primarily for the benefit of the local person. That’s what I think to begin with. I don’t think that any foreigners should be allowed to come into St. Kitts and dominate, as it were, the industry and then employ local people,” Baird said on a local radio programme.

Baird said while he understands that foreign input in the creation of such an industry is crucial “in terms of dominating the industry and getting all of the benefits, I think the benefit should accrue to the local people.”

Last August, Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris said that the decision of his administration to introduce legislation aimed at decriminalising small amounts of marijuana for medicinal and other purposes as a step towards the twin-island Federation consolidating its freedom from slavery.

Harris said the government has introduced legislation “to expunge the records of those criminalized.

“We offer a fresh start to our people in a new era of enlightenment and engagement with cannabis. We are committed to decriminalizing marijuana and in the near future expunging criminal records for related offences of a certain degree while ensuring that the health and welfare of our nation’s children are protected.”

The government announced the establishment of a broad-based Cannabis Core Committee of experts to provide technical support to further advance the work towards the decriminalization of cannabis and the establishment of a marijuana industry in the Federation.

Baird told radio listeners that the Committee has since completed its work and has made several recommendations to the government.

CMC

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