As the cannabis industry continues to grow, more and more countries are jumping on the bandwagon in an effort to boost their economies. A recent report from The Economist shows that a number of small tropical countries are starting to produce cannabis for export. This is great news for the cannabis industry, as it will help to legitimize it and bring more attention to it. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at some of these countries and discuss why they have decided to get involved in the cannabis industry.
Can You Grow Cannabis in the Caribbean?
Despite the reputation of countries such as Jamacia, Caribbean countries’ governments are notoriously conservative on many issues, including drugs. In most countries in the Caribbean, cannabis remains illegal. However, over the past few years, a growing number of Caribbean countries have started to legalize cannabis for medical and/or recreational use.
One reason for this change in attitude is the growing recognition of the potential benefits of cannabis, both medicinal and economical. In many cases, cannabis can be a more effective treatment than traditional medications for certain conditions. For example, cannabis has been shown to be an effective treatment for chronic pain, anxiety, and seizures. Additionally, legalization could help to boost tourism in these countries by attracting marijuana tourists.
Medical cannabis in the Caribbean is a relatively new concept, but it is quickly gaining popularity. In fact, the cannabis industry in the Caribbean is expected to grow from $30 million in 2017 to $650 million by 2025.
One of the main drivers of this growth is the increasing number of countries that are legalizing cannabis for medical use. In addition to Jamaica and Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda has also legalized medical cannabis. Other countries, such as Trinidad and Tobago, are considering legalization as well.
Medical Cannabis Cultivation
Laws in many Caribbean countries allow for the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes. However, the amount that can be grown is often limited, and there are a number of restrictions on who can grow it and how it can be used.
Case Studies in Caribbean Cannabis
As examples of where things stand on Cannabis in different parts of the Caribbean, let’s take a look at what’s happening in a few different countries.
Cannabis in Jamacia
Jamaica, which has long been associated with marijuana, reggae, and Rastafarians, legalized and regulated the medical cannabis industry and decriminalized small amounts of cannabis in 2015.
If you are caught with 2 ounces (56 grams) or less of cannabis, you are supposed to pay a modest fine and receive no criminal record. The island also allows people to grow up to five plants, and Rastafarians are allowed by law to smoke ganja, as Jamaicans call it, for sacramental purposes.
Enforcement of these laws is limited, however, as many travelers and locals continue to buy cannabis on the street.
Cannabis in Antigua and Barbuda
The marijuana industry’s financial advantages prompted Antigua and Barbuda to legalize the plant. The Cannabis Act, which came into law on November 28, 2018, regulates the possession, production, and trade of medicinal marijuana. Individuals can keep up to 15 grams of cannabis under the law.
Citizens may grow up to four marijuana plants and licensed dealers may distribute marijuana to patients for medical reasons. Despite the fact that marijuana is now legal for recreational use, there are still limitations. For example, smoking marijuana in public places is not permitted by the law.
Cannabis in The Bahamas
Even in The Bahamas, a country that has historically had very strict drug laws, the economic benefits of having a perfect climate for growing cannabis are proving too hard to pass up.
The Bahamian islands are full of large swaths of flat land perfect for agriculture. Until the mid-1900’s, the country was the world leader in pineapple production. This was ended in 1959 when Hawaii became a state and the Hawaii-based Dole corporation took over the industry. Since that time, Bahamian farmers have been in search of another “cash crop.”
“I think islands such as Eleuthera, Andros, Abaco, and Grand Bahama have a lot of property that can be used to maximize the cannabis industry and, in turn, create opportunities for other islands,” the nation’s Minister of Agriculture, Clay Sweeting, recently said, “This industry can actually touch the lives of Bahamians nationwide. Hopefully, we will see the success story of what the industry can be before five years are complete.”
The government is working on finalizing the details for marijuana legalization. The goal was that the draft would be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
The Last Toke
Stories of socially conservative countries opening up to the idea of legalized cannabis certainly shows that the legalization movement is gaining ground. This trend is not only happening in the Caribbean but all over the world.
As more countries legalize cannabis, the industry will continue to grow and opportunities for entrepreneurs will abound. If you are interested in getting into this industry, be sure to keep an eye on Frost Exotic Cannabis as we continue to update our blog with the latest news and information.