Newly Appointed Cannabis Working Committee Announces Progress Towards a Policy Stance for Grenada’s Cannabis Industry

The content originally appeared on: The Barnacle News

St. George’s, Grenada: The Government of Grenada, in keeping with its stated intention to develop a cannabis industry that will focus on the medical and industrial uses of the plant, is working to develop a comprehensive approach to the issue, ultimately leading to the passage of cannabis legislation.

Legislation will address the medical and scientific purposes of cannabis, as well as its potential to create employment and generate foreign exchange.

The Minister for Agriculture and Lands, Forestry, and Marine Resources, Honourable Lennox J. Andrews, has expressed confidence in the members of a new working committee, saying they are committed to the mandate by the Cabinet to submit proposals on the way forward for the cannabis industry by September 2024. “I have met with the committee, and they have all given their commitment to the task at hand, and I have full confidence that the committee will go to work within the time frame and deliver on time,’’ he said.

Previous Commission and New Working Committee:

The term of engagement of the previously established commission expired in November 2023. After careful review and to expedite informed decision-making, the Cabinet opted to establish a streamlined Cannabis Working Committee.

The Committee was established in April 2024 and consists of the following:

Anselm Clouden, Attorney at LawDr. Shawn Charles, Chief Medical OfficerACP Vannie Curwen, Acting Commissioner of PoliceMr. Tonja Alexander, a cannabis expert and Rastafarian representative.Betty Ann Lazarus, Public Relations, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Forestry, and Marine Resources

This new, streamlined Cannabis Working Committee leverages the expertise and working knowledge of its members to guide this initial research and recommendation stage.Focus on consultation and a data-driven approach.

The Cannabis Working Committee’s primary mandates include:

Engage with the Grenadian Community: Through extensive consultations, the committee aims to understand the public’s views on cannabis use and reclassification.Shape Legislative and Regulatory Framework: Informed by public consultations, the committee will advise on designing a new legal and regulatory framework for cannabis.

Open and transparent process:

At this stage, the Working Committee is moving beyond discussion and taking decisive action to achieve its mandates from the Cabinet. The Working Committee’s activities focus on gathering data and public opinion. The plan include:

Publishing a Policy Statement: This document will outline the government’s direction on cannabis legislation.National Panel Discussion: Bringing together regional experts, this event will offer an opportunity to demystify cannabis, explore the realities of medical and scientific cannabis legalisation, and kick-start the national conversation.Data Compilation and Analysis: Information gathered through all consultation processes will be meticulously compiled and analysed.Collaboration with the Ministry of Legal Affairs: The committee will work closely with the Ministry of Legal Affairs to research and recommend legislative amendments for cannabis decriminalisation and depenalization in this initial phase.

Balancing Progress with Responsibility:

The Government of Grenada acknowledges the growing interest in cannabis legalisation. It also recognises the experiences of those impacted by current laws and appreciates public enthusiasm. However, a responsible approach is crucial. The current work ensures all aspects of Grenadian society are considered while pursuing positive, data-driven progress.

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