The SLP Government in its Manifesto, committed to expunge the records of crimes relating to the possession of small quantities of cannabis and to decriminalize the use of cannabis followed by eventual legalization.
In less than 3 months following the election of the SLP government in office, the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act, was amended to allow adult possession of 30g of cannabis and four (4) cannabis plants per household.
Soon afterwards, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a taskforce to create and maintain a sustainable and vibrant market for cannabis.
The Cabinet appointed Cannabis taskforce met on Wednesday 2nd March 2022. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Commerce, Business Development, Manufacturing, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs, Honorable Emma Hippolyte.
The Cannabis taskforce builds on previous work where in July 2019, the Government of Saint Lucia appointed a Cannabis Commission to review the current laws on cannabis, and make recommendations for new regulatory framework to inform the development of Cannabis in Saint Lucia.
Based on the recommendations of the Commission, Cabinet by Conclusion Number 1009 of 2020, in June 2020, approved the drafting of a policy, legislative and regulatory framework for the development of a Cannabis Industry in Saint Lucia.
The Taskforce is comprised of representatives from the following agencies:
- Attorney General Chambers
- The Ministry of Commerce, Business Development, Manufacturing, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs
- Ministry of Tourism (Invest Saint Lucia)
- Ministry of Finance, Inland Revenue Department
- Ministry of Health and Wellness (Substance Abuse Secretariat)
- Ministry of Agriculture
- Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards
- Iyanola Council for the advancement of Rastafari
- Cannabis Movement
- A representative of Leader of the Opposition
The meeting highlighted the momentum of this initiative to date and in the coming weeks. Members of the taskforce will review the existing proposed framework for the Cannabis Industry to agree on a regime which is robust, safe and inclusive, and that will guarantee that the economic benefits emanating from the development of the cannabis regime belong to Saint Lucians.
The taskforce will ensure that the necessary stakeholder consultation will take place in the process of implementing the final outputs.
The Task Force is also mindful of the need to control cannabis use amidst other commercial and industry priorities through proper monitoring systems, sound public education and public health policies and legislation to protect minors.
The Taskforce appointed the Director of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards as the Public Relations Officer (PRO).The next meeting of the Taskforce will take Place on 16th March, 2022.
Source: Commerce, Business Development, Manufacturing, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs