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'Historic' medical marijuana bills tabled in Parliament

Health and Wellness minister Dr Michael Darville

Health and Wellness minister Dr Michael Darville

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Digital Editor

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

Health and Wellness minister Dr Michael Darville said the country was poised on the brink of a transformative movement in the history of health care as he tabled a compendium of bills to establish a medical marijuana industry in the House of Assembly today.

The Cannabis Bill 2023 establishes The Bahamas Cannabis Authority, a body that will oversee all aspects of cannabis regulation. The compendium also includes the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill; Health Professions (Amendment) Bill; Hospitals and Health Care Facilities (General) (Amendment) Regulations; and the Pharmacy (Amendment) Bill.

During his contribution, Dr Darville stressed the legislative package represented a thoughtful and balanced approach and was driven by a "duty to act" as he referenced the number of Bahamians who are battling cancer and in need of alternative treatments for pain management and other related issues.

Dr Darville noted the set of bills considers potential benefits and safeguards to protect communities, including rules for handling, storage, and medical dispensaries as well as ongoing monitoring and evaluation. He said the government will also adopt future developments in medical research and care as it seeks to provide access to new treatment options for those in need, and position the country to become a leader in the region for healthcare innovation.

"It is our duty to act," he told parliamentarians.

"The compendium bills for medical cannabis is more than legislation, it is a beacon of hope for countless Bahamians whose voices often go unheard...many of us have to go abroad to access the proven effects of medical cannabis."

Dr Darville said the new authority's mandate is to ensure that cannabis production is safe and controlled.

He furthered that licensing is structured to prioritise Bahamian ownership, fostering local entrepreneurship and benefits for Bahamians across the country.

He said the introduction of a medical cannabis industry will be marked with rigorous control and "free of political colours".

Dr Darville added: "We are here to make a difference, to enact change, remove years of stigma and transform lives by offering alternative treatments by way of medical cannabis. The legislation before us offers a careful, considerate approach ensuring that we prioritize the wellbeing and safety of our citizens. Let us move with compassion.

"This is our commitment in our administration, this is our responsibility, this is our promise to every citizen relying on us to provide solutions that respect their dignity."

Comments

John 1 month, 1 week ago

  • ament Health and Wellness minister Dr Michael Darville tabled a compendium of bills to establish a legal medical marijuana industry in the House of Assembly today.* When you read this does it mean that the minister tabled a ‘compendium of bills in the House of Assembly, or ‘a ‘compendium of bills to establish legal medical marijuana ‘in’ the House of Assembly?

John 1 month, 1 week ago

So now you see why Brent ‘gimme more’ Symnonette made his appearance and saiy he doesn’t support Minnis, who is probably the greatest threat to unseating thr present government.

moncurcool 1 month, 1 week ago

What does who Symonette supports has to do with these bills?

Do you have any proof of what you are saying? Otherwise, that could be taken as liable.

I think we need to be more responsible on our comments of others, especially when we offer no proof to support the claims.

John 1 month, 1 week ago

It is common knowledge that Brent Symnonette expressed interest on behalf of his family on getting a license to cultivate medical marijuana. And so if you on behalf of Brent Symnonette have evidence that I committed criminal liable, then sue me. Else get the behind me! There was also information that farms already in operation in Freeport could be converted or expanded to include medical marijuana.

sheeprunner12 1 month, 1 week ago

The New Day PLP are just taking this country further down the abyss ............ In 2013, it was Numbers, then in 2016 it was VAT and now in 2024 it is Marijuana

This may be the final nail in the coffin for this country

John 1 month, 1 week ago

Personally I think this marijuana bill will correct some of the evils the PLP did in the 1970’s and 1980’s by having marijuana classified as a dangerous drug in the same class of cocaine and heroine and disrupting the lives of so many young men, even in school age and sending them to jail for up for five years for a little as a joint of marijuana. I done condone the smoking of recreational marijuana but this country is already at the point where half the population is smoking and so there may be the need to regulate it. There are also millions of tourists that come to these islands ‘looking for something to smoke’ and so to avoid them have long to go through some dark corner or through some bush. May as well decrimilize it. The young people walk around with 40 ox if Hennessy anyway

carltonr61 1 month, 1 week ago

The Bahamas caught between 27 million legal Medical Cannabis users and dominant Jamaica where it is legal in small amounts could switch the money monopoly from our locsl underground and criminal gangs controlling an empire of power and billions in cash money. Untaxed billions is spent year round here for 70 years. Cannabis has been forever here. At now, the government could legally bring to the top of the table without stigma demands that adolescents not be in the company of adult users in the form of a binding Social and Legal Contract of Enforcement and understanding to save our youth who are most negatively impacted during the period of brain growth and maturity until the age of 23-25. Once mental and emotional diversions occur that impacts motivation, aspirations and inspirations the coming of age into adulthood and beyond are affected where it hurts the most - in the parents wallets - as the adult-child cannot afford to leave home and is lazy on any job.

John 1 month, 1 week ago

We’re you smoking pit when you wrote this

jamaicaproud 1 month, 1 week ago

Brah, what does Jamaica have to do with this? Anyway since you started let me finish it for you. Nothing is going to change.

• Those who smoke will continue to smoke • Those who don’t smoke wont smoke • Those who have traditionally trafficked wont even know the process to get a license much less get one (Involves validating strain etc) • The people who get licenses will be those who traditionally have be “throwing people in jail for the thing” • The guys who have been trafficking as I said wont get licenses and will continue to get arrested • Its really a con game for rich connected people to make more money and the threshold to be able to become a trader will be very high(No pun intended)

DWW 1 month, 1 week ago

too true. simply a money grab that won't work. simply look at Canada. sales are from gov't outlets but the black market still thrives due to vain attempt to regulate a backyard weed.

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