Saint Lucia registered a Herbal Cooperative on Saturday as part of moves to create a cannabis industry.
The new entity will be a central purchasing agency.
The cooperative’s interim President, Andre ‘Pancho’ de Caires, said that growers would have a ready market for their product.
The former Chairman of the Cannabis Movement said the herb would be laboratory tested and graded when the cooperative receives it.
After that, people could buy and retail the item.
The Saint Lucia cooperative model is different from the ones in Jamaica, Saint Vincent, or Antigua.
“We devised the idea many years ago to serve the people involved in the cannabis industry, the growers, and the guys selling for years in the illegal regime,” de Caires told St Lucia Times.
” So this is our idea. The Cannabis Movement and Rastafari came up with this idea, and the government has embraced it so much so that it is enshrined in the legislation,” de Caires noted.
The former Cannabis Movement Chairman said the legislation should be in place by June.
In addition, licensing regime will address areas including exporting, importing, manufacturing, and growing cannabis.
“Having the cooperative does not mean the industry has started. One of the most important steps is creating the licensing authority, and only then would people be able to grow cannabis legally,” de Caires told St Lucia Times.
Headline photo: Founding members of the Herbal Cooperative after its registration (L to R) Jonathan Isaac, Paul Francis, Andre ‘Pancho’ de Caires, Emmanuel Alexander, Aaron Alexander and Marcus Day.