Thursday 14 November, 2019

Caribbean gov’ts urged to take unified approach to cannabis trade

Speaking at the CanEx Business Conference and Expo in Montego Bay St Vincent and the Grenadines Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar said small Caribbean states should no longer be competing against each other. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

Speaking at the CanEx Business Conference and Expo in Montego Bay St Vincent and the Grenadines Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar said small Caribbean states should no longer be competing against each other. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

St Vincent and the Grenadines Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar is calling for Caricom and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to take a collective approach to the development of standards governing the negotiation of cannabis trade agreements for their member states.
 
In making the call at the CanEx Business Conference and Expo in Montego Bay on Thursday, September 26, Caesar said small Caribbean states should no longer be competing against each other.

“So many of our regional initiatives have failed because we pit one small island developing state against another and collectively, we devalue our shared value proposition, Caesar said.
 
He said if the Caribbean as a region intends to fully realise the opportunity that the fast-growing cannabis industry presents, it must develop a unified approach and ensures a seat at the international table.  

“My fear is that if Caribbean leaders don’t get the cannabis strategy right, we may end up losing out on one of the most lucrative exports in our region’s history; more lucrative than bananas, tobacco, cotton or sugar cane,” added Caesar.
 

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The agriculture minister said the world is ready for a well-regulated system of secured global trade in medicinal cannabis products, and committed that as an incoming member of the United Nations Security Council, St Vincent and the Grenadines is ready to join with the wider Caribbean Community to develop trade agreements that will usher in this bold new era in global trade. 
 
He said changing laws and passing legislation is a good first step, but says that is not enough. He warned that Caribbean countries may end up importing cannabis if they don’t act now to capture the economic benefits of a well-regulated regional cannabis market.
 
CanEx Jamaica Business Conference and Expo bring together cannabis industry professionals from over 30 countries across North America, the Caribbean, Europe, South and Central America and Africa discussing the latest advances in the medicinal, health/wellness, legal, regulatory, business and investment landscapes. The three-day conference features more than 80 speakers.

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